Everyday as I walk Gypsy to the ocean, both morning and evening, I pass a place where there is the most beautiful aroma. Where I notice it most is, oddly enough, right in front of a commercial garbage bin in front of some beautiful condos overlooking the Pacific.
I have walked down that same street twice a day for almost three months and never failed to detect the hint of it. I have brought a friend down who couldn’t smell it at all. I keep meaning to bring another friend, but actually, I really don’t care if anyone confirms it. I have gone to the nurseries in town and tried to locate a plant that gave off such a sweet fragrance (without my touching the leaves) but have come up short. No one knows of anything that would be sweet, not bitter, and yet give off the scent I am describing to them.
I merely thought it would be nice to plant under my bedroom window, where the smell of dog urine has occasionally wafted in unexpectedly during the night. I love that smell that I cannot replicate! Perhaps there is a good reason for that. It really encourages me to take that walk every day, and that is good for my health and my dog. It also inspires me to think deeper about the things of God.
He says in 2 Cor 14-16 that …”we are to God the aroma of Christ”….spreading everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. The fragrance of life. Can it be bottled and sold? No. Can I replicate that perfume I smell? Perhaps not.
Someone said it was probably a laundry sheet. Not at the times and days I pass by, it is too consistently the same. And it is a mix, smelling to the best of my ability to detect, rosemary, mint, and perhaps a third herb, but nothing bitter or too sweet. There is no sign of any of these plants growing anywhere on the street.
I have a new grandchild who, without any effort on her part, summons up memories of my own children at the tender early stages of their lives. I remember the smell of them being so amazingly sweet. The back of their necks particularly held their fragrance as they got a little older. Not only did I love being in their presence, but I adored the aroma that was uniquely theirs.
I believe we are indeed a fragrance to God, and that He adores the aroma of us. Everyday I am reminded in the most uplifting way that where I expect to smell the scent of garbage, I am completely caught off guard by this wonderful scent. It is a lesson I hope that I do not forget, even if the aroma should disappear. Where else in my life might I be seeing garbage that may well be an amazing fragrance to God?