When I buy a new book or a new dress, I have to sniff it to take in what I have come in contact with. When I step into a Hallmark store filled with new items, I have to inhale the distinct scent of the place that surrounds me. Scents give me comfort, reminding me of where I’ve been. One of my favorite scents is that of the Minnie Mouse blanket I’ve slept with for the past…well…fourteen years. I love when it’s freshly washed and hung to dry and I can smell the summer breeze upon its fabric. I have an affinity for pretty perfumes, but after I buy a certain perfume and wear it for a specific time in my life, I can’t wear the perfume in a new chapter of life. I suppose this is because when I smell Hilary Duff’s “With Love” or “Vera Wang Princess,” my mind is transferred to memories of going to the National Spelling Bee in 8th grade or joining the tennis team my freshman year of high school. I feel that certain scents should be preserved for the past, and that I should continue to experience new perfumes to serve in conjunction with new life experiences. In fact, I’ve had daydreams about becoming a perfume saleswoman and matching individuals up with their “perfect” scent…
Sometimes I ponder the beauty of God’s plan–specifically how awe-striking it is that He has a plan for each of His children and that He connects us all together as the body of Christ in order to advance the Kingdom of God. I believe God has a unique plan for each of our lives, meaning that He creates each of us to metaphorically be a different thread in the tapestry of His Kingdom–essential and distinct. In relation to the above passage from 2 Corinthians, I tend to believe that God allows a unique fragrance to be poured out of each of His children. We are each vessels of His sweet aroma, and as a whole community of believers, our collective scent is even more intense and pervading than the aroma we carry on our own. We are as diverse as the instruments in a cohesive symphony. As we each allow Christ’s love in us to be given off as an aroma, each perfume scent of the individual joined to the community of believers becomes a mixture reflecting Christ’s perfect love for us and for the world.
All is for His glory, and as we allow Christ to be glorified in our lives, He will allow His sweetness to be released in our lives. I’d like to think that the fragrance I carry has hints of flower blossoms, with a trace of amber and a touch of mahogany. However, the sweetness God calls us to give off to others has more to do with how Christ is reflected in our lives, not the physical scent we carry. If we are living in Christ’s love, then others will glimpse love. As we are seeking God’s truth, the Spirit leads us into all truth and allows for us, in turn, to speak this truth into others.
I’d encourage you to think about the aroma you are allowing Christ to release through you. Is it sweet? Let’s ask Christ to make His fragrance sweet through us, and as a result, He will increasingly use us to be a testimony of His goodness.