Wednesday, May 13, 2015

My mom wanted me to drive her to the store to do some shopping. So I splashed some cologne on my face and went on ahead of her to the car and took my seat. She soon came out of the house and sat in the front seat on the passenger’s side and immediately began sniffing the air. I watched as she leaned forward and started checking the bottoms of her shoes. Turning to me she said, “Billy, check the bottom of your feet and see if you stepped in any dog poop before you got into this car.” I went through the motions of checking my shoes, but I knew it was the cologne. I never used that particular brand again.

Smells range from pleasing fragrance to repulsive odor. The sense of smell can strengthen our romantic attraction to someone we love or wonderfully enhance the pleasantness of a room. The sense of smell is vital to our enjoyment of good food, but also senses decay and corruption and warns us to discard that which is unfit for consumption. A bad smell can be repulsive to the point of producing nausea. The stench of a rotten egg or a dead rat hidden somewhere in your house is almost unbearable to human nostrils.

Fragrance or odor can indicate if you are clean or need a bath. My Uncle Thomas once said, “By the time you smell yourself, everyone else has been smelling you for three or four days.” The smell of your clothes tells people if you are a smoker, reveals where you’ve been— if you’ve come from a camp fire, a seafood restaurant, a friend’s musky house, or a smoke-filled bar. Dogs can detect the presence of poisonous snakes by the sense of smell.

The sense of smell can be vivid and strong and have deep effects upon us. I remember smelling the sweet odor of jasmine in bloom when I was a child walking barefoot along the dirt road behind our home. The smell of gardenias still transports me in memory to some of my earliest childhood visits to my Grandpa Willie Long’s house and to Aunt Maggie’s house next door to his. I remember Grandpa Tharon’s old spice, and the very intense and wonderful root beer smell that filled the air in Aunt Ida’s house when she made tea by boiling the sassafras roots I dug up for her.

The reality of fragrance and our ability to smell are more proofs of God’s existence. He is the first and greatest artist. The beauty we see in nature was first in the mind of God. He painted the flowers and gave them their perfume. The numerous fragrances that fill the air along with brilliant floral colors bring pleasure to our walk through a nature park profuse with flowers, but they cannot compare to that which awaits us in the age to come. The beauty of heaven’s paradise with its wonderful fragrances and sights are incomprehensible to the natural mind and are beyond our human language’s ability to describe. God has reserved some wonderful things that we will not experience until we stand in His presence in eternity. There is a God and there is a paradise, an Eden, a new heaven and a new earth for us to enjoy for eternity.

The Apostle Paul was given a glimpse and said he was not allowed to tell us what he saw, and even with permission would still be unable to express it. What we see, hear, smell, and taste in this life is only a glimpse of the panorama and glory to come. This life is only a very brief beginning.
I close with words from the old hymn that was inspired by Psalm 45:8.
My Lord has garments so wondrous fine.
And Myrrh their texture fills.
It's fragrance reached to this heart of mine,
With joy my being thrills.


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