Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Who do you smell like?

I have a strange tendency to mimic the speech of the people I am with. It is very telling actually. After six months with a Canadian, I developed the strange habit of saying “eh?” at the end of every sentence. Since working with South Africans, I’ve started using “just now” to mean “sometime soon” and using “must” in every second sentence. When I am around ESL students, my speech takes on this very enunciated accent-less sound. I tend to leave out unnecessary words and always use the simplest of vocabulary and whenever possible avoid question sentences. This results in phrases like, “Did you enjoy?” “Say to him I wait here.” and “You are good?” accompanied by various hand gestures.

Spending several days with very European people who talk about “woolking” around the corner and “toolking “ about this and that combined with reading Jane Austen all week resulted in my speaking with a very odd accent all weekend. I ran into an American couple at a concert Saturday night and asked them if they were “on holiday.” Now in America a holiday is strictly a one-day affair like Christmas or Thanksgiving – it’s never something you can be “on”. They smiled politely and asked me, “And where are you from?”

I was thinking about this tendency recently and wondering shouldn’t it be this way with God? Shouldn’t it be that I spend so much time reading His word, talking to Him, and listening to His voice that my words begin to sound like His words and my thoughts begin to mirror His thoughts and my actions begin to look like His actions?

Paul wrote to the Corinthians that we are the “fragrance of Christ” in the world. Have you ever hugged someone and had that telling smell of their cologne or perfume lingering on you all day? I wonder, do we smell like the presence of God? Is there the mark of His embrace on us? Do we sound like Him? Are we spending so much time in His presence that when we talk there is the unmistakable evidence that we have been with Him? Like Isaiah, after having our lips purified with the burning coal, does the trace of smoke still remain on our garments?

“For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing… And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 2:15- 17)
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