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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Evocative Smells

Smells are so evocative.

This afternoon I was ironing some curtains I just made before hanging them. The smell of the hot iron on the cotton lining took me back fifty years, to a time when my mother, my sister and I made all of our clothes. 

It was a time when it didn’t matter who made a garment as long as the garment looked good and suited you. Nobody wanted to wear a shirt with a logo from the manufacturer displayed on the chest. The idea seemed odd and even preposterous. We wanted to wear something unique to us.

The creativity of choosing a dress pattern and matching it with an appropriate fabric and then spending hours cutting and sewing and ironing was satisfying. My sister and I had such fun sharing time together sewing and listening to the latest records on our little transistor radios. Yes, I am that old.

I iron all the time, sheets for the B&B mostly, but the smell of ironing new cotton is different, and takes me back all those years to those happy hours spent perched on my parents’ bed, leaning over an old Singer sewing machine and dreaming of how great this new creation would look when it was finished.

Some may have looked great. Many probably looked not so great. But they were all unique, one of a kind outfits. No danger of arriving at a party or at school in the same dress as someone else.

The smell of the iron on cotton is so distinctive, and that reminds me of the distinctive aroma we as Christians have in the world. Paul writes that we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ. The pleasing aroma of Christ. 

It doesn’t say that when we do good things or live perfect lives we are the pleasing aroma of Christ. Just by believing in Jesus as our Saviour and Lord, we are the pleasing aroma of Christ. We are not perfect, but he is, and I am sure that the aroma is way better even than Chanel or Dioror Estee Lauder. It is perfect, like He is.

May you spread the fragrance of Christ wherever you go today, confident that the beautiful smell is unique to Jesus and doesn’t depend on your goodness, but his.

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