Unpleasant Aromas

I could tell by the hand being waved in front of my friend’s face that Carl had done it again. The woman’s expression clearly showed me that she had taken in the offensive odor that came from this little dog. French bull dogs are known for their potent expulsions of gas and Carl is no exception. No one can predict when it is going to happen and at some of the most inconvenient times, this Frenchie lets one go.

Carl typically makes no apology for the unpleasant aroma that he shares with the people close by him.  He usually will look at his victims with a quizzical expression which will cause the people around him to either laugh or get as far away from him as possible.

Aromas can be pleasant and draw us close or repulsive and drive us away. It is interesting to look through the Bible and locate the aromas that God finds pleasant to smell. There is one particular story in John 12 that caught my attention. It states in John 12:3 “Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.”

What motivated this woman to spend a year’s wages on this perfume and place it on Jesus’ feet?  Why would this woman humiliate herself by stooping down and wiping Jesus’ feet with her hair? I can only imagine the stares of disbelief from others in the room that she was doing this act, but also that Jesus would allow her to do so.

Judas, one of Jesus’ disciples rebuked her for wasting the money that could have gone to the poor. At first glance, we all could agree with him. Taking a year’s wages and dumping it out on someone’s feet could definitely appear as a senseless act. But if we could look into the hearts of these two individuals, like Jesus did, the truth would be revealed.

Judas was the money keeper for the disciples and saw the money that was spent on this perfume slip from his hands. He was greedy and only wanted the money for himself. On the other hand, Mary was extremely grateful for Christ and the compassion he had shown her brother by raising him from the dead. She wanted to honor him by washing his feet with this expensive perfume.

I often wonder how intoxicating the smell was that filled the rooms on that particular day. An aroma that I know God smelled from heaven. He knew that his only son would soon die and that this woman was willing to sacrifice so much to prepare Jesus for his burial.

This story causes me to question if my actions are a sweet aroma that drifts up to heaven or a stench that repels God from my sight. Hopefully, I will consider how God views my future decisions and strive for a heart that will produce for Him a pleasant scent.

As for Carl, I am sure he will continue to share his silent bomb shells with my friends and family. But even when he evacuates a room with a repulsive smell, I will have to chuckle and remember that God has a great sense of humor.

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