What’s That Smell??

April 11, 2021

On our way to NYC!! This picture has a smell…keep reading.

Yesterday, I read Joe’s lesson and wondered how in the world I would find a picture that related to smell. This morning, my Facebook memories delivered with two images I can still smell, along with a reminder of why Joe worried about me in our kitchen!

I present to you “A Melted Bag of Bread”:

Y’all, this stunk up my kitchen for many days after I laid the poor toaster oven to rest. Joe reminded me of this event OFTEN. 🙂

My Facebook memories also provided this image (one of my favorites):

We were just about to board a train, headed to New York City. I was so very excited about the trip, but Mr. Price was so very excited about the train! He didn’t wear cologne all that often, but Joe always smelled good to me. It was typically a mixture of smoke, dust and Jackie’s grill, but it worked!! {Fun fact: The man did not own a stick of deodorant because he neither perspired nor smelled funky under his arms.} Anyway, he DID wear cologne the morning of this train trip. I remember this distinctly because, when I commented on how good he smelled, his reply was that he was hoping we’d have a good looking lady train conductor. 🙂 Joe had jokes, y’all. ALL the time.

This week, Joe’s lesson is about smell. He discusses how we should smell to others as followers of Jesus.

He wrote:

Do You Smell Like a Christian?

I want to talk to you a few minutes this morning about “smell”.

The way things smell can be complex. Something can have a pleasing smell, but too much of it can make you feel a little bit sick. Without scent we cannot taste. It is also said that the sense of smell is capable of triggering more memories than any other human sense.

How do we smell as Christians? Scripture talks about smells, both good and bad.

In Exodus 5:21 , it says: “May the LORD look upon you and judge you,” the foremen said, “for you have made us a stench before Pharaoh and his officials; you have placed in their hand a sword to kill us!”

Isaiah 3:24 states “ And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well-set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.”

2 Corinthians 2: 15-17: “ For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.”

Sometimes we want to be around people because they make us feel good. Those people might smell good, too, which never hurts, but we are truly drawn to their personality. Jesus was that way. No one could come around him without feeling an almost irresistible attraction. It was not cologne that drew people to him. It was his goodness and holiness.

You have that same effect on other people. Like Paul said in 2 Corinthians, we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved. So, my question is, do you smell like life or do you smell like death?

Try to put yourself in the shoes of the folks you are around every day—your family, your co- workers, your church, folks in the neighborhood, or just people you run into at the store. What do you smell like to them? Would you be drawn to Christ because of knowing you? Or would you be pushed away?

The best smells come from good things. But you can’t cover up a bad smell by putting a good smell on top of it. You can’t live a life that “stinks”, then recite a few Bible verses or just call yourself a Christian and expect other people to want to smell your fragrance.

The best fragrance of life comes from someone who has been transformed by God’s grace. You can have that fragrance as a Christian by coming to God continuously, reading His word and loving people the way Jesus instructed. Ask Christ to fill your heart, and as He does, you will smell less like the world and more like Jesus.

This week let’s do our best to smell good as a Christian to everyone we encounter, especially the folks right here at home.


Early on, someone told me that smell would likely be one of my strongest grief triggers. I honestly doubted this, because I was so drawn to things that smelled like Joe. I’d just sit in his truck and breathe deeply because I could smell him in it. I am embarrassed to tell you how long it was before I could bring myself to wash his pillowcase. I’d crawl into bed every night and bury my face in it, trying to soak him up any way I could. However, I soon learned that this person was right….

Joe wore cologne the night before he passed away. We went out for supper and had such a good time that evening! I can tell you so many details about that night, but did not remember that Joe was wearing his “smell em good” (as my mama says) until a few weeks after his death.

While I was away from home for a few hours, a bottle of Joe’s cologne was accidentally spilled near the back door. The mess was completely cleaned up before I arrived home, but when I opened the door, I was immediately met by that smell–HIS smell. For a split second, I thought he was there…that maybe it had all been a bad dream. Yet, in the next second, I remembered the last time I had smelled that scent–the last night we were together–and I sat right down on the floor in the hallway, grocery bags and all, and had myself a full blown come apart.

I had a similar episode about a month ago in Target when a gentleman passed by me (twice) and I caught a whiff of that same cologne. I shook it off the first time, but when it happened again, tears rolled down my face and a sob leapt out of my throat before I could stop it. That poor man must have thought I had an emotional attachment to the jelly beans on the shelf in front of me (and I mean…I do love a good jelly bean).

Smell is kind of a big deal.

Joe said, Sometimes we want to be around people because they make us feel good. Those people might smell good, too, which never hurts, but we are truly drawn to their personality.” I realize I am biased, but I do think people were drawn to Joe in this way. I believe it was part of the reason he was good at his job at Rouse Funeral Home years ago. Joe’s quiet, easy going demeanor, along with his soft, deep voice were sources of comfort. He could look at you with those pretty blue eyes, put that strong hand on your back and you just knew he would make sure things turned out ok.

Joe treated everybody like they were “somebody”…because he believed they were. I never saw him treat a single person with anything but kindness and respect, and he was as conscious of maintaining a person’s dignity as anyone I’ve ever known. You might live in a cardboard box and dig your supper out of a trash can, but you were “ma’am” or “sir” if you had an encounter with Joe.

Joe was a helper. Acts of service were truly his love language. He was hands on, shirtsleeves rolled up, ready to do what was needed. He was also a giver, but usually a very quiet one. He was generous and typically anonymous, wanting to give, but not needing to be recognized.

Joe smelled like life. He still does.

I want to smell like that, too.

Sometimes I worry that the words I use depict Joe as some unflawed, larger than life creature. Admittedly, he was pretty perfect to me, but he was far from perfect…and although I would never admit this to Joe, I am not even close to perfect myself.

But here’s the thing…you don’t have to be.

Joe said it best when he said, “The best fragrance of life comes from someone who has been transformed by God’s grace.” Well, that’s me, friend. And you know what else? It’s you, too.

Put your hand to your chest. Every beat of your heart is proof of God’s grace in your life. When I look back on my past, there were times I did not smell like life. I smelled more like a goat’s rear end. Maybe you’ve smelled a little funky, too.

It’s a pretty easy fix, according to Mr. Price: You can have that fragrance as a Christian by coming to God continuously, reading His word and loving people the way Jesus instructed.

Talk to God. Lean on Him. Listen to Him. Read His word…it’s all the truth you’ll ever need. And then…love on people…ALL the people….even the stinky ones. I’m willing to bet that someone loved on you when you weren’t smelling so fresh. I know Jesus did.

Sweet friend, take a sniff of yourself. If you are smelling like a rose, keep doing what you are doing. If you catch a whiff that’s not so fresh, ask Jesus to fill your heart with His love and his truth. Ask Him to help you love like He loves. Heck, ask Him anything. Ask Him to help you take the next step, the next breath, whatever it is that you need. And then ask Him to show you the way…His way.

And then sniff again…I’m pretty sure you’ll find that you smell less like the world and more like Jesus.

You might even find you don’t need deodorant (you do you, but personally, I am not taking a chance on that one!!). 😉

We’re on this train called life together. It will be so much more enjoyable for everyone if we all smell good. Just ask the Conductor. ❤

-Words of Wisdom from The Book of Joe

One thought on “What’s That Smell??

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: