Some smells bring back special memories. For some very bizarre reason whenever I smell a really plasticy toy I remember a plastic fried egg I once bought on holiday when we visited Brentcross shopping centre as a kid. I really don’t know why I should remember a plastic egg, but it must have made me happy.
Other smells that I love and that bring back memories:
- A freshly laundered face cloth soaked in hot water
- The smell of Christmas puddings (I don’t like the puddings to eat but the smell reminds me of mum at Christmas)
- The smell of the first rain after months of dryness in Malawi – you can smell the rain wonderfully soaking into the dry dust.
- BeJesus fluid – the real name for this is Ajax Jeyes fluid, an old disinfectant that in our family became known as BeJesus due to the strong eye-watering smell. I loved that smell but it is no longer made due to toxic chemicals it contained. (Thanks for the correction Dad!)
It was part of St Patrick’s Breastplate that got me thinking about smells. I loved the sound of this part:
I bind this day to me for ever
By the power of faith, Christ’s incarnation;
His baptism in the Jordan River;
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spicéd tomb;
His riding up the heavenly way;
His coming at the day of doom;
I bind unto myself today.
I loved that line ‘His bursting from the spicéd tomb’, although it is a bit of creative license as we don’t know if Jesus was anointed for burial by Joseph of Arimathea. We know for sure that the disciples hadn’t done it as Luke 24.1 tells us that the women were on their way to do this when they found the empty tomb. But so often in the bible I wish we could have a scratch and sniff section so we could experience everything with all our senses – the incense at the altar, Gideon’s damp fleece, the lamb and bread at the Passover, the smells of the night in the garden of Gethsemane. How wonderful it would be to bring to life those things that happened.
Paul tells us that we have scratch’n’sniff lives.
2 Corinthians 2:14-16 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. 15For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?
The picture here is of a victory parade after war – to those who are on the winning side the celebrations smell of life and victory. To those on the losing side this celebration smells of death. We are not only to live as Christ did, but to bring the aroma of Christ to those around us. To some we will smell of wonderful life and salvation, but to others we will smell terrible.
How do you smell today if someone was to scratch and sniff your life?