While I am recovering from surgery this week, my lovely friend, Kristianne, is stopping by to grace us with her beautiful words. I first met Kristianne in January when I received one of her Compassion Bags. We spoke on the phone a few weeks later and I knew it was a friendship born in heaven. Over the last few months, we have spoken often--sharing our hearts, baring our souls, and covering one another in prayer.
But first...I'd like you to meet my friend, Kristianne...
Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. (2 Corinthians 2:14-16)
Grace’s ringlet curls wrapped around her spangly bracelets as she leaned across our bubble gum tea party. She wiggled her index finger in the space between our faces. “C’mere, mommy…real close and breathe big with me,” and we did as if together, we could breathe in tiny moments like solid molecules.
“Mmmm…I love you. You stink really good today, mommy.” Of course, I completely understood that it was the scent of my perfume but what Grace really smelled was my love.
Everybody’s love smells different.
My Italian grandma was never a gushing geyser of sentiments but I do remember the endless flow of Little Debbies that grew within the pockets of her flowered, polyester housecoat and sent me on cream filling waves across her kitchen linoleum to the gold, shag-carpeted guest room. I never knew what treasures waited behind the real imitation wood closet doors with their shiny brass knobs. There were always stacks of toys, games, and primary-colored, striped clothes that, if they were too big for me, I could pass to my older sister and too small, given to a younger cousin.
My grandma’s love smelled like a mix of garlic and mothballs.
In the Old Testament, around the time of the battles between the ites and the ambivalent Israelites, animal sacrifices were pleasing aromas to God. I’ve read the New Testament starting with the red letters enough to know what Jesus saw, heard, tasted, touched but what did Jesus smell?
But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. (2 Corinthians 2:16)
Lazarus was dead for four days
A woman with an issue of blood for 12 years
Legion and his tomb dwelling demons
And how about that mid-dinner pedi Jesus did for all of his disciples?
Let’s face it, what Jesus had to smell would leave us gagging. Nowhere do we read about Jesus priming his hand sanitizer bottle or getting into a Febreze spraying frenzy after each encounter.
Not a mention of what He smelled, because maybe what Jesus smelled was love.
Live a life filled with love following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. (Ephesians 5:2)
Retracing the steps across and around the decades of my life, I see first my 20’s “if God loved me.” Then, 30’s “when he loves me”. Now in my 40’s and no longer an “unsecure person”, but firmly rooted in faith and realizing that grace isn’t acquired like a scouting merit badge, it’s because He is love.
He loves me because God is love, and to Jesus, I hopefully stink really good.
Kristianne is a writer, speaker and founder of Compassion That Compels. Her life of love is filled to overflowing for her husband Royal, and their daughters Grace and Annelise. Collecting people and gardening are among her passions. Painting lives in brilliant hues of God’s love and compassion is her purpose. Join Kristianne on Facebook Compassion That Compels. Follow her on Twitter Kristiannefaith and Instagram.