There I told you; somebody had to…you smell! We all smell; and the smells that linger on us are sometimes good and are sometimes bad. Some smells are stronger than others such as alcohol or garlic or mint or cologne or smoke or sweat or fish. Again, some are good and some are, well, not so good.
Smells tell us a lot about where a person has been. It’s kind of hard for a youth to sneak in a house after a late night of drinking and smoking and think that parents won’t be able to tell where they’ve been and what they have been doing. (You stink; the breath mints aren’t working!)
For me, one of the great bonuses about spending time in a coffee shop is that when I leave; I can still smell the coffee in my clothing and my hair. I also love the smell on my clothes the next morning after I spent an evening sitting at a camp fire.
The only bad part about playing hockey is sitting on the bench next to players who refuse to wash their equipment after a game; they smell! There I told them; somebody had to…some hockey players really smell! It’s probably the reason that I wash and then hang up to dry ALL of my equipment after EVERY game!
Many years ago my wife Cathy would smell my clothes in an attempt to try and guess what kind of wood I had been working with after a day of making cabinetry or furniture or doing finish carpentry. Other times I would come home with the odor from working with fiberglass or latex and it would be requested of me to change my clothes ‘immediately’.
Some smells can trigger happy memories from our past like Christmas cookies or a turkey at Thanksgiving or sparklers on July fourth. I still can remember each of my children when they were born and how they smelled; something that always brings back happy memories of great joy!
As strange as it may sound, several times throughout my relationship with Cathy I have ‘smelt’ her skin and her hair and it reminded me why I fell in love with her. Whenever I smell dirt and worms and fish and pipe tobacco on a warm day I flash back to summers that I spent at the lake with my maternal grandparents.
We also can ‘smell’ like those we hang with. Often times I can still smell perfume or cigarette smoke transferred to my clothing several minutes after receiving a hug from a friend or relative. Cathy could also tell who I had been working with based on how I acted or what kind of mood I was in; I ‘smelled’ like the person I had spent time with.
In the Bible we read an account of the leaders of the early church when they were brought to court for preaching and praying for people. I love this passage because it communicates that when we spend time with Jesus, others will be able to tell that we had been with Him:
“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13 NKJV)
We can even get through this life without smelling like the world, if we let God help us. Remember the story of Daniel’s three friends in the fiery furnace:
“And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.” (Daniel 3:27)
Question: Who do you smell like? As Christians we are supposed to ‘smell’ like the One whom we are following:
“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” (2 Corinthians 2:14-15)
Or as Eugene Peterson translates verse 15;
“Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life” (From The Message Version)
“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” (Ephesians 1:1-2)
"Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."