Fragrant Spirit

“For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.”

2 Corinthians 2:15

I struggled to breathe in the soupy tropical atmosphere. Pollen and dust hung in the steamy air as a perpetual haze which obfuscated our view of the sky. I longed to enjoy the outdoors, to inhale the blessings of creation, but met with suffocation instead.

I rejoiced at the call to move northward. The way proved more challenging and took longer than expected. I lingered in the limbo of rental space for a month. In this temporary house, the nauseating fumes of a gas leak drove me from my office space for several weeks. I’d shifted from the inability to exercise to the inability to work.

Securing a permanent home hung in the uncertain, invisible purgatory of lenders’ judgments and institutional bureaucracies throughout the transition. Late in the day, less than two days before we hoped to sign on a house, approval burst in like brilliant rays of hope.

We moved three shifts of storage units and moving vehicles into our bright new living place. While we’ve managed to unpack much of our things into closets and cupboards, this increased space cannot contain our overflow of gratitude. I now inhale deeply of crisp autumn air as I walk the steep neighborhood curves and forested park trails. The lake sparkles in the unfiltered sunlight. Even when the sun settles low at the brink of night, his rays stream with hope’s glory into my soul.

Oh, how grateful I am to breathe and bask in praise here in our new space!

Inhaling this fresh experience reminds me of my responsibility to serve those whose souls languish in this suffocating world. I am called to breathe in my Lord’s presence and then to become his presence to others. My life, my attitude, all that I say and do can add to the worldly haze for those who suffer or oxygenate their airspace with Christlikeness. Every moment I have this choice to exude the fragrant and fresh breath of Jesus … or not. My heart can overflow with rays of hope to brighten the world … or not.

I wonder how well the radiance and aroma of my Father’s glory blesses the world through me.

May my steps, uphill or downhill, lead others to follow him. May my way, however challenged and long, pave a path for others to persevere. May my heart, no matter how dark the hour of the day, shine rays of his hope into the world.

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