manureSome of us understand the phrase, “That’s a bunch of manure!” better than others. You see, those us of from rural America are truly olfactory aficionados when it comes to manure. With hardly a sniff of our snout, we can finely distinguish between most any animal’s doo doo.

I have never listed Manure Olfactory Specialist on my résumé, but I can hold my own in differentiating between cattle, hog, chicken, sheep, horse and goat dung. Toss in my sniffer specialty with dog, cat, bunny and buffalo and I’ve got most basic animal droppings covered. I hold my own at the zoo too—monkeys, giraffe and elephants for sure.

Fragrance of Our Presence

Let’s just say I have a hidden talent in my schnoz. My refined nasal passages get me thinking at times about the kind of aroma we as humans leave behind. No, not that kind, I mean the fragrance of our presence. Let me explain with a story I read recently in my morning devotional booklet, Our Daily Bread.

A rancher who lived near Lometa in central Texas would warmly chat with the folks he knew when he went into town for groceries and supplies. Of course, the elderly rancher knew each of these individuals by name and he remembered their personal stories. The author of the story on this congenial man writes:

“He’d stop here and there and ask about a sick child or a difficult marriage, and he’d offer a word of encouragement or two. He would share Scripture and pray if it seemed the right thing to do. I’ll never forget the man. He was something special. He didn’t force his faith on anyone, but he always seemed to leave it behind.

The elderly rancher had about him what Paul would call the sweet “aroma of Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:15). God used him to “spread the aroma of the knowledge of [Christ]” (v. 14). He’s gone on to be with God now, but his fragrance lingers on in Lometa.”

Aroma to Leave Behind

What a tender story of an everyday man just caring about the people he knew and leaving a sweet scent wafting around them. So what about us? What aroma do we leave behind when we encounter people?

Chanel Critical No. 5? Velvet Rose & Oud Irritating Intense? Vera Wang Prideful Princess? Dior J’adore Jarring? Ralph Lauren Polo Pathetic? Calvin Klein’s Egotistical Eternity?

May it never be that we stink up the place and the people we know and meet with an unpleasant stench. Oh, to be a refreshing fragrance that lingers on wherever we live, work, socialize and travel.

Sniff. Sniff. I’m liking your patience parfum, your encouraging eau de toilette and your contented cologne. Nice. May I try some? It smells wonderful on you—and that’s not a bunch of manure.