It’s just a random trip to Kroger’s. And as I’m apt to do I peruse the clearance items and, lo and behold, I see Old Spice deodorant on sale. I open it and take in the familiar fragrance. I tear up remembering that’s how my Dad used to smell. I don’t think he wears that now, but as he and my mother face deteriorating health and financial issues I know he is not long for the world. He is not “churched” but over my time in the ministry he asks me questions. On Sunday’s when the family gathers, he wants to know what I preached on. I wish he knew Jesus and understood what a life of faith can mean.
We attended when I was young, but stopped along the way. So I have no real memory of VBS, Sunday school, and knowing a pastor. I find sometimes I am angry at him for not raising us (I have two brothers, unchurched) in the faith, but that’s life. I have made peace with him and forgiven him. The smell brings me back to memories of my Dad in a suit leaving for work as we got ready for school I think why the memory is so strong is because for about the last 20 years he’s been in real estate. No suit no set hours, and for him not much joy.
My uncle’s on his side of the family are religious and attend church and so did my grandparents on his side. I end up feeling kind of sorry for him, and my Mom, for what could be. Do you have family like that? So, anyway, a smell brings back a memory. Life is like that. Our senses are alive and often we pick up a familiar smell, sight, taste or touch and have a wonderful memory to go with that. I loved the smell of fresh bed sheets hanging on the line on a summer day for an example. As we travel through Lent, remembering our sin, we ask God for that forgiveness and grace in Christ. The fresh smells of spring remind us of the new growth and hope in Jesus Christ. And we carry on…knowing Jesus as “light of the World” for all those who travel in darkness. (John 9:5).
Peace be with you, Pastor Doug