We’d been sitting in the little ice cream shop for quite a while, as our 4-year-old savored every bite of her gigantic chocolate ice cream cone. The price for the ice cream was a little high, but I think we got our money’s worth out of the sheer number of napkins we used. My husband took our daughter to the bathroom to get cleaned up (for the second time), as I waited in the small seating area in the front.
Suddenly, a sweet smell began to permeate the room. As my husband reappeared with my daughter, we locked eyes – me with a question, and him responding with a look and an affirming nod. Certainly one could expect that a teenage boy working an ice cream shop in the winter would get bored, but smoking weed with his buddies just outside the back door would not be a recommended way to pass the time! What was most surprising, to even me, was that the smell traveled from outside, into the building, through a rather large kitchen, an office, and filled the entire front of the store.
Which (of course!) turned my thoughts toward spiritual things.
The Old Testament is full of examples of people offering their sacrifices to the Lord and him finding the aroma pleasing. 2 Corinthians talks about us being the fragrance of the knowledge of God and the aroma of Christ.
But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? ~2 Cor 5:14-16
Although we may not realize how pleasant or unpleasant our smell, it permeates the areas we walk regardless. Even when we put on a happy face and a good show, our aroma can betray us (or back us up). Just like there’s a point at which you can’t cover up body odor with anything except a soapy shower, we reach a point in our lives where we can no longer hide behind perfume and masks.
The smell of weed still drifts to the front of the store.
So I leave you with that this weekend. Are you an aroma or a stench? As Christians, we leave an impression of God behind no matter what, so if you’re stuck in the latter, perhaps it’s time for a shower.
Photos: My daughter thoroughly enjoying her ice cream. And believe it or not, these pictures aren’t even at the height of her “enjoyment”. (Jan 2010)