For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
2 Corinthians 4:11 12 (NIV)
The waning sun leveled golden rays across the parking lot as I left work, illuminating small landscaping trees. The sight of foliage, flaming with the colors of autumn, always leaves me breathless, but today I got an extra treat. The aroma of fall rose, carried on a crisp breeze, and I inhaled deeply. A movie scene flashed through my mind: a Native American thanking his prey for providing sustenance.
On a whim, I blurted out to the trees, “Thank you, Leaves, for smelling wonderful, although you’re dying. I know you’ll be back in the spring, but it’s still kind of you!” I was being silly, but it made me think. How could something so close to death create such a delightful fragrance?
Jesus came to earth wrapped in human form. He lived and died, as all men must. Is it coincidence that Christ died, withering like the leaf, on a tree? His death changed everything as the aroma of sacrifice drifted up to the Father. His resurrection brought the possibility of eternal Spring to us.
Christ calls us to follow Him. As we do, we become more like Him—oaks of righteousness, plantings of the Lord for the display of his splendor (Isaiah 61:3). We lay down our lives for one another, and when people pass by, they are touched by the fragrance of heaven.
I climbed into my car and murmured a short prayer of thanks for autumn leaves.
Lord, make my life an aromatic representation of your heart.
© 2013 Katherine A. Fuller