We wandered along the halls of the nursing home, my daughter, granddaughter, husband, and myself, wheeling Mom’s chair ahead of me. Victoria, my five-year-old granddaughter walked beside her great grandmother, unsure of how to interpret this new setting and the changes in my mother. Unaware of the differences in his great grandmother, Victoria’s baby brother stared around from the vantage point of his mother’s arms.
As we traveled, Victoria complained of being cold. The nursing home’s air did run high, a fact proven by the many residents tucked into their chairs with blankets. Victoria still wore the sundress she’d worn to church and her lean, little body couldn’t keep her warm. I offered her my blazer, and we stopped while I helped her put it on. She pulled it close and smiled up at me. “It smells like you.”
I laughed. “What do I smell like?”
She shrugged. “You.”
I remembered the smells of both of my grandmothers’ homes, the fragrance of powder in one, in the other, the smell of permanence, of a home lived in for many years. Not a bad smell, just one of an old house. But what did I smell like?
I can’t wear anything scented, so it definitely wasn’t perfume, and I moved three years ago, so it definitely wasn’t the other! To this day, I don’t know what Victoria smelled, but it made her smile at a time when she felt unsure about her surroundings.
I thought about this the other day and was reminded of Paul’s words to the Corinthians:
For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 2 Cor. 2:15
If you examine the verses surrounding this one, we learn that when we spread the knowledge of Christ’s grace and salvation everywhere, it spreads like a fragrance. For God, we represent His son. To Satan, the following verses say, we smell of death, but to God and His followers, we are the fragrance of life. We provide salvation with our words. The message of Christ gives them comfort in an unsure place just like my “aroma” eased Victoria’s confusion in an unfamiliar place.
What fragrance do you give off. Does it provide comfort? Are you the aroma of Christ to others?