Gina Caswell Kelly
Everywhere I go, I get comments on my fragrance. I have been wearing the same cologne for probably 30 years now. Or longer. Apparently it was made for me! I have had strangers stop me and ask what I am wearing (Guerlain Samsara for those of you keeping score at home.) Long years ago, when I was working for the school district, I went to football practice just as it was finishing up. The boys were in the huddle in the center of the field. I was minding my own business over by the bleachers, just waiting until it was over. A kid in the huddle popped his head up and started looking around. He said, “I smell Mrs. Kelly.” I have laughed about that for all these years. It was funny to me that he knew I was there simply by the fragrance.
In Ephesians, Paul writes to the church at Ephesus (and to us),”Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” In 2 Corinthians it says, “Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God among those who are saved and among those who are perishing.” Clearly, God likes things that smell good! And to Him, our lives as Christians should be that sweet fragrance drifting up to Him. Should be.
These days, I look around at my life and the lives of those around me and I think, “Yuck! We stink!” And we do, in so many ways. I can just see God, like a cartoon character with a close pin on His nose as He looks at us and the way we act. Sometimes it’s like the guy selling programs at a football game. “Buy a program!” You can’t tell the players without a program!” Sometimes, people need a program when they look at our lives to tell who is a Christian and who is not. This is not the way it is supposed to be. Our lives are supposed to be distinguished from the world by the way we live, the way we love and the way we serve God and man. Lots of the time though, we just flat stink!
But, on the other hand, there are many times that we truly are that sweet smelling fragrance that God loves so much. Many times God sees us serving those in need and He takes a big old sniff of that. He sees us inviting others to worship with us. Another big whiff. He sees us loving those that are so hard to love. He sees us forgiving. He sees us overlooking those times when people may hurt us in some way. He sees us sharing love instead of political opinion, and man, is He glad to get a big strong whiff of that fragrance!
The thing about God is that He loves us all the time and in ways we can’t imagine, but He is pleased like a Father watching His children succeed, when He sees us serving Him out of our love for Him and not out of obligation. He loves when He sees us being witnesses for Him in this very hurting world. When I had Mike Kelly, and I would cook chicken fried steak for supper, I would hear Mike as soon as he walked through the door. “Oh boy! Oh boy!” That is probably very similar to how God feels when He gets that wonderful fragrance of our lives serving Him.
I saw a prayer recently that spoke so clearly to this. “May I spread the fragrance of Christ to everyone my life touches day by day, Lord. Make me a gracious witness to those who don’t know You, and a blessing to those who do.”
Yes, Lord make my life a beautiful fragrance to You and to the world around me. Help me to make a difference!