It stopped me in my tracks. My heart jumped and a smile instantly landed on my face. The impact had a similar effect on others around me. People stopped to take it in. One woman said, "Oh, that makes me happy!" She spoke what I was feeling. Suddenly refreshed, I wanted to take bigger breaths and clean out the stale air in my lungs. My eyes landed on the colorful display in the middle of the aisle. Bright colors of yellows, purples and reds stood gracefully as if on parade. But it wasn't the sight that drew me. It was the aroma--the deep, rich smell of a spring garden after a refreshing rain. I smiled the rest of the day just remembering the scent.
Later, I reflected on the response to the aroma that saturated the store aisle and caused people to stop and breathe it in. I was again reminded of simple gifts of creation that God has given and we often take for granted. The pleasant refreshment of that moment anointed me for the rest of the day. I felt more alive, more open to the world around me, more content and more grateful.
I was also intrigued by the response of others. Men and women stopped their carts to "smell the flowers." Suddenly a community of carts clogged the aisles as everyone smiled and commented to each other that surely Spring must be close. Complete strangers smiled at each other and shared a moment of refreshment together--everyone recognized a shared weariness. The rich scent of fresh life and the possibility of a new season was worth a moment's pause.
God's Spirit is like the aroma from the flower display in the store aisle. It draws people to recognize the weariness in their spirits and offers them the opportunity to breathe in refreshment. God has infused me with the sweet aroma of his presence to draw weary souls to a hope for fresh life and a new season. I want to carry that aroma with the quiet grace of the flowers in the aisle. As my soul is refreshed with the sweetness of God's presence in me, I want to let the aroma permeate the atmosphere wherever I go.
God's Spirit wants to infuse you, too. He longs to refresh you with His love and give you more than enough of Himself to share with others who are weary and in need of refreshment. He wants more than anything to draw you to the rich scent of life and the possibility of a new season. It's worth taking the time to stop and breathe it in. Let it clear your heart and mind. Let it soothe pain and fear. Let His love for you bring contentment and gratitude. Breathe it in friends. It's worth the moment's pause.
Father, thank you that you breathe into the unexpected moments in life. Thank you that you have anointed us with the fresh wind of your Spirit to be a fragrant aroma for others who are weary. Cause us to drink in your scent so that we smell like You. Let others be drawn to the sweet aroma of Your love and be refreshed. Amen.
Shelley Lopez, Executive Director
Shelley has been a member of the Springfield community for 29 years. As she lives and works and worships in the city, she uses the metaphor of an old Victorian house restoration to keep her focused on the work she is called to do. Inspired by the words of the prophet Isaiah, she pours herself into "restoring old ruins, rebuilding and renovating, making the community livable again" (Is. 58:12 MSG)