When I was at the Parson’s house, I overheard a conversation between two of their friends.
It went something like this:
Friend 1: Every time we come to see Jer&Ash, my kids go home and sniff their clothes with huge smiles saying, “We smell like the Parsons!”. There is just something about their house, I am not sure what it is because our house is very similar and it doesn’t smell like their’s at all.
Friend 2: Oh, we do the same thing. I actually figured out what it is. Their laundry detergent. It’s Gain. We switched so we could smell like them. It has to be Original Scent though.
I came home and told my husband that when we run out of our normal detergent I am going to try Gain just to see if it really works. Part of me hopes it doesn’t work, because I think the thing that attracts people to the Parsons is bigger than the way they do their laundry. There is something about them that makes you want to be like them, and you can’t quite put your finger on it. They aren’t fancy. Their mini van is old and the door is kinda broken. Sometimes life gets busy and the laundry piles up so high that the brothers have to wear their swimsuits in leu of shorts and underwear. They are imperfect, yet everyone that meets them wants their smell. So then, what exactly is it about the Parsons’s life that smells so deliciously fragrant?
In 2 Corinthians 2:14 Paul ends his letter saying, “Thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.”
That’s it! They smell like their Father.
Spend enough time nuzzled in the bosom of your father, and you will come away smelling of musty aftershave and pipe tobacco. It is the smell of being loved so big, the fragrance lingers long after the warm embrace ends. It is free and wild and never-ending. It’s a scent so distinct and beautiful, that it covers broken hearts, broken promises, and even broken van doors. And reassures you that, in His arms, everything is 100% – for sure – totally – going to be alright.
The Parsons are imperfect people that depend on a perfect God, and the fruit of that relationship is so evident in their lives, you can smell it.
We recognise and enjoy the comforting, satisfying, pervasive sweetness of what is fragrant, but no human words can adequately convey the effect of a sweet scent. It can be recognised, but it cannot be described…The fragrance of Christ is like the Father. It conveys the sweetness of the Father’s love, the glory of the Father’s character, the desirable loveliness of the Father’s goodness. All that we can say is that this fragrance was the quality which brought the Presence of God to men. And all that we can say to describe the fragrance of a truly spiritual life is that it reminds men of Christ, it brings the atmosphere of His Presence near to men… By new birth we, too, have the heavenly deposit within us, and it is that heavenly life which provides the fragrance of Christ, for it is His life being lived out through us. Paul speaks of this cloud of sweet smelling incense being diffused “in every place”: it goes where we go, for it is a very part of our inner life. -Harry Foster, on The Fragrance of Christ
Music: As a beggar, I come to Thee by Luke Morton, 2012