Scent Of Heaven

This morning I woke up about an hour late and missed my walk. So Karen sent our young grandson, Aron, in to get me out of bed. “Ba-Pa, up!” he said, and I obeyed.

When I reached the living room, I pulled my old Bible off the top of the bookshelf and said to Aron, “Grandpa has to read his Bible so that he can be strong to serve the Lord.” Aron said, “Uh-huh,” and held his hands open like a book to show that he wanted me to read to him.

So we sat together in the recliner with him sitting half on my lap and half on the arm of the chair, and I turned to where the bookmark was placed in my Bible, St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter twelve.

Aron is almost three years old, and he is probably a little behind in his language development.  Although, I think that he has a sensitivity to God that often amazes me.  

Aron is very bright and inquisitive, and he is extremely strong-willed but generally obedient to his parents and grandparents. He seems to fully understand what is being spoken to him whether in English or Spanish, but his own vocabulary is limited, and his sentences consist only of one to three words at a time.

For instance, if Aron wants a drink, he’ll say, “Agua?” or maybe, “Agua, pweeze.” When you hand him his cup, he’ll invariably respond, “Gracias!” Or if I’m sitting on the back porch watching a game on the television and Aron wants me to kick the soccer ball with him, he’ll command me, “Ba-Pa, up, kick!” And I’ll think in my heart, “As you wish, Mijo!” while getting up to play with him. 

So this morning alone with my grandson in the living room, I read chapter twelve of First Corinthians about the many and wonderful spiritual gifts with which God has blessed us, and Aron listened attentively.

Then, of course, I had to read chapter thirteen which followed.

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will bedone away.For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, thepartial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

After finishing, I closed the Bible and Aron said, “Ah-men!” I prayed, “Blessed be God’s Holy Word,” and then kissed the front of the Bible and let Aron kiss it too. I thought to myself existentially, “This is why I am here in this moment right now; THIS is the reason God made me!”

Then I softly sang an old worship chorus.

Sing hallelujah to the Lord.
Sing hallelujah to the Lord.
Sing hallelujah.
Sing hallelujah.
Sing hallelujah to the Lord.

Aron seemed to enjoy my singing, so I began another song,

Oh to us who believe
Jesus Christ is precious . . .

Aron suddenly interrupted, “Stop!” and he started softly sniffing the air like he does when he pretends to be a puppy. But he didn’t play along as he usually does when I said, “Oh my puppy’s here!” by sticking out his tongue and panting like our dogs.

Instead he kept sniffing the air and looked at me like I should be doing it too, and so I did, but I couldn’t smell anything. I chalked it all up to something little boys do, undoubtedly something I probably did too when I was Aron’s age about half a century ago.

By then it was time for me to get some breakfast, shower, and get to work. So I kissed Aron, tassled his hair, and set him down to run off to find his Grandma or his parents elsewhere in the house.

But Aron’s odd behavior stuck with me on the drive to work, and later at my desk I turned over in my mind the entire joy I’d experienced this morning just because I had gotten up late.

And then I remembered something I’d read before in the Bible about incense and fragrances that exist in the spiritual realm before God when He is most glorified and pleased.

So I searched the word “aroma” in my online Bible, and this is what I found in St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians, chapter two, verse fourteen.

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.

So I’m thinking, “Maybe if a boy is very young and has not yet had his senses dulled by all of the material things in this world . . . maybe in the exquisite experiences that are centered on God and the ones He loves . . . maybe if a boy like that sniffs the air in moments like these . . .

maybe he can catch a scent of Heaven!”

2 responses to “Scent Of Heaven”

    1. Thank you, Lori.
      I wrote this about twelve years ago, and re-reading it today made me cry.

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