Candy blogs: I have always had some favorite words that evoke certain emotions. They are words that I try to think about and use because they have such a positive impact on me. Words have become even more important in this high tech world; once you send them “out there,” they never go away. One of my favorite words is fragrance.
If you read through the historical books of the Old Testament in reference to required sacrifices, you’ll find this phrase repeated over and over … a pleasing fragrance to God. The definition of fragrance is the quality of being fragrant; a sweet or pleasing scent. Catching a whiff of a winsome fragrance always makes a person stop and take notice … lilacs in the spring, a good-smellin’ man, smoke from a fireplace somewhere in the neighborhood, popcorn in the next cubicle, the air after a rain, a roast in the oven, freshly cut grass.
Sometimes it’s just in passing and sometimes it fills the room but fragrance is always noticed. It is never ignored even if words are never spoken. We want to breathe in a lovely scent and stay close enough to the source to keep breathing it in. Fragrance always leaves an impression. It is usually an indication of cleanliness. Encouraging words, a patient and understanding attitude, acts of kindness, taking time to really know others, spreading cheerfulness, giving perspective … these things leave a pleasing fragrance.
A similar but, oh, so different word is odor. The definition is a disagreeable smell. (I don’t think I’ll make a list here of smells that are disagreeable!) Many of the same things can be said about an odor. It is always noticed and always leaves an impression. One will usually go searching for the source of an odor as it indicates the presence of decay and even death. We tend to avoid odors if we can and a whiff is more than enough. Cross or belittling words, a critical spirit, purposefully hurting another, a demanding attitude, insisting on your own way, gossip … these leave an odor behind.
I am thinking today about which word lingers around me. Jesus, let your presence in my life leave a winsome fragrance everywhere I go.
2 Corinthians 2:14
In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. 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 (having or emitting fragrance; aromatic) with life.
For those of you reading from elsewhere: