Scientists and researchers have known for centuries, that scents and memories are connected. Our frontal brain lobes are directly linked to the odors and smells that we take in. It starts when we are infants, and continues throughout our lives. Personal scents link us to each other, like colognes or perfumes, which register to us and gives us a memory of another.
Plants give us the same affect.
For instance, when you read words such as honeysuckle, rose, tomato, basil, garlic, lavender…you may see the image in your mind, but you might be able to smell them, too. If you slowly read those again, and envision a memory of those plants, most likely their aroma would come to the forefront of your thoughts. Give it a try.
Tomatoes are back in my existence. I have LOTS of tomatoes growing in my summer garden. I am pruning and fussing over them again. (note an earlier post-$1000 tomatoes-haha). But the fact that I increased the amount of tomato plants this year by twice-fold, another event is happening. Before I even reach the gates of my garden, those plants hit my nostrils before my eyes catch the sight. And confession time—I was not always a fan of that smell. Once it’s on your hands or clothes, it remains awhile. But I’ve grown to love it since it represents something entirely different now for me. The sweet basil growing in close proximity, is a close second to all of this. My garden has taken on the smells of a Caprese Salad!
Why all the talk of aromas?
To make a point of our role in faith and this world.
Let me challenge you and ask...,what is the fragrance you leave behind in your little part of the world?…In your contacts with others—friend or foe?…In your daily dealings of everything around you?…In your actions or your deeds?
Specifically, what is left behind for the memories that others are creating about you?
I was floored when I read a line in a devotional a couple years back and had to write it down…,
"He didn’t force his faith on anyone, but he always seemed to leave it behind.” (David Roper—describing a friend)
Ohhhh, isn’t that good? I hope I’m not the only one who thinks so. Do you mind, can I write it again?
“He didn’t force his faith on anyone, but he always seemed to leave it behind.”
That sums up our faith in action! It’s not about standing on corners and yelling our lungs out to berate others, it’s about how we leave the pleasing aroma of Christ behind whenever, wherever, however, we encounter another.
Paul wrote it, too,
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved.” 2 Cor 2:14-15.
When we as Christians engage with another, our goal should always be to leave a little bit of Jesus behind. For if we are going to call ourselves followers of Christ, then are we not called to be examples of Christ? And if so, isn’t it our mission to present the best of Him there is? Shouldn’t the remnants be a pleasing and sweet memory to the other, for which they will never forget?
“You show that you are a letter from Christ, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” 2 Cor 3:3.
We, my friends, are walking fragrance-samples of a greater One. We have an important role in bringing Jesus to others—and leaving Him behind in their memories. As it has often been said, “You are the only bible some will ever read.” We have a big job to do.
Let us remember to bring the sweet scent of Jesus to those we encounter. Let us give others a reason to have a good memory of God. Let us be the ones to connect Grace-and-God as a memory others will always have. And let us be the ones who are easily detected by the aroma of our faith, long before anyone sees the sight of our actions.