This morning I went on my usual morning walk up Bear Creek Road where I live. About a half mile into my walk the sudden strong scent of honeysuckle permeated my senses. I looked to my right and observed a thick carpet of honeysuckle covering three trees. I breathed in the rich fragrance, instantly transported to my young childhood at Grandma Margaret's home on College Street near downtown Branson. Behind her small single-story home a thick supply of honeysuckle lay, beckoning us grandkids closer. I remember we would often slowly pull the stem of the flower out, producing a drop or two of sweet nectar which we would eagerly taste.
However, it was the thick, strong smell that brought lasting memories. To this day some 50 years later, I still associate my Grandmother's home, in part, to her honeysuckle. Family visits after summer baseball games at Mang Field or Saturday visits to the grocery store at the Piggly Wiggly, very close to Grandma's home, gave us the best opportunity to smell fresh honeysuckle.
It's amazing how strong our memory of smell is! I still vividly remember the aroma of the hallways of Branson Elementary School and Jr. High, Mom's sewing machine table, the cartons of milk in the school cafeteria (not my favorite scent), and a crate of freshly picked strawberries sitting under a shade tree. If I want to get a clear picture of a childhood memory, the best place for me to start is smell.
Part of why I believe in a Creator God of intricate design is our senses. Sight, sound, smell, taste and touch--when studied scientifically--provide amazing insight into unfathomable creativity of design. To think all these senses we all too often take for granted as the product of random chance takes a far greater step of blind faith than the more reasonable and logical assertion that we are product of a Master Sculptor of life. My opinion.
In believing this, I also believe the fallen world we live in moans of deep brokenness and rebellion, resulting in a creation falling far short of God's perfect design. Contemplating Eternity and the new Heaven and Earth, I envision richer colors, more tender touches, more joyous sounds...
And sweeter and fuller scents!
I believe honeysuckles will be plentiful in Eternity. Their scent will carry me back to wonderful visits with my Grandma, and beckon me forward with ever-present adventures of community and communion, all embraced with the perfect blend of senses beautifully created by the God of love and fullness.
Think for yourself of scents that bring you present joy, past fond memories, and future anticipations. I believe God uses these scents as but one of His roadmaps to Himself, if we would but listen with our hearts. I encourage you today to spend time out in nature and breathe in all the fragrances before you, and realize they are but a tiny taste of what awaits in eternity!