I love the smell of skunk. I know it’s totally weird, but I’ve got a good explanation. Smells have the ability to transport us to wonderful memories of times past. Skunk does that for me.
I’m a city boy. As a little kid I lived in New Jersey almost in the shadow of the New York City skyline. Normal smells were bus exhaust, hot pavement in the summer, and the Newark dump when the wind blew in from the South. City smells.
Every summer my parents would load the car up with tents and sleeping bags and road trip games and snacks, and my brother and I would climb into the back seat for a vacation adventure. I loved vacation. I loved to look out the window and see the world go by. I loved to experience new tastes and places. I loved being with my family out in the country. Here we would drive past farms, over mountains, and through scenic valleys. Here, on vacation in the car, I would smell skunk. The smell would linger in the car for a few moments. A dead skunk is not a good smell, but the only time I would ever smell that was when I was on vacation, and I LOVED vacation. The smell of skunk was tied in my smell memory to a wonderful time in my childhood.
Today when I smell a skunk I feel like I’m really living! I am immediately transported in memory to the back of my parents’ station wagon on some country road on vacation. You may love the smells of blueberry muffins baking in the oven, of freshly cut Christmas trees, or of the ocean breeze; but I love skunk because it makes me feel ALIVE!
In Ephesians 5:1-2 Paul tells us that God loves a strange smell too. The smell of the sacrifice of Jesus is a pleasant aroma to God. It’s the smell of death, but it’s a smell that reminds God of a great day, the day salvation came to the world. Jesus’ death is a fragrant offering to God! When God smells the aroma of that sacrifice it means LIFE for you and me! When God smells that sacrifice it means we are really living!!!
Dear Jesus, Thank you for offering yourself as a fragrant offering to God for me. Amen.