We all experience times when the five senses are sharp. In the fall, the smells of pumpkin pie spice and sage remind us of gratitude. The sting of the summer sun on our skin can take us back to a carefree childhood memory. Other times, the senses are dull. The rush of life can distract us from savoring the five senses God gave us to enjoy. Tragedy can rob food of its taste and erase the beauty of a sunset from the sky.
I have this #FridayFive writing prompt hanging out there—Five Senses—and I’m just not feeling it. Life is so ordinary right now. We are in a comfortable rhythm. Nothing too exciting, nothing too depressing. I like it. I like familiar and certain. I could live here forever and be just fine. Mundane is my happy place, really.
Even when life is ordinary, God gave me these five senses to enjoy. During this Lenten season, I want to tune my senses to remind me of God’s holiness, my humanity, and the grace and mercy that bridge the gap between the two.
Today’s #FridayFive is all about the five senses of redemption—things that I experience through the senses that remind me I am redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.
Treasure Your Redemption By Savoring the Senses
I have a front row seat to see the Body of Christ come to life. I lead a small group for some precious women each week. I have been a small group leader for several years, but I am particularly amazed this go around. Most of the women in this group were strangers three weeks ago. As we have opened our Bibles together, theses women willingly let down defenses, share struggles, and offer genuine and sincere encouragement. Sometimes, I just sit back and watch their interactions with complete amazement as God brings Romans 12:5 to life: “So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” Because Christ’s body was broken, we can know unity in the Church. The Church is Christ’s resurrection personified—a broken body made whole.
My two-year-old son’s bedtime routine has always included a prayer. I prayed over him as an infant and continued as he made his way into his toddler years. Recently, Barrett took over the bedtime prayer. It is the sweetest sound. “God, tank you Daddy, tank you Mama, tank you Curl, tank you Sarah” (Curl is his baby talk for Claire). The rhythm of childlike faith beats in his heart before he even knows exactly who God is. We were all made to worship something. In our humanity, we often fall into the pattern of worshipping ourselves or some other ignoble purpose. In Barrett’s sweet prayers, I hear him worship God because that is his created purpose (Colossians 1:16). It is natural and right and so beautiful.
The Lenten season is often a time of fasting. Chocolate and coffee sit on the shelf, neglected until resurrection morning. I discovered this practice of fasting between Ash Wednesday and Easter morning when I was well into my twenties. I admit I have not embraced this sacred practice. Fat Tuesday comes and goes without a commitment from me to abstain in order to remember. I am tempted to carry guilt over my lack of discipline. Instead, I will savor and remember. The sweet taste of a Valentine truffle reminds me of God’s love. Oil and vinegar bring to mind Christ’s anointing and the bitter drink offered to Him on the cross. The bread and wine will connect me to His broken body and spilled blood. “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Psalm 34:8 ESV).
When my husband reaches out to hold my hand or drape his arm around my shoulder, I get a sense of God’s unconditional love. I do something daily, at the very least, to let him down or irritate him. I am short-tempered and I snap like a turtle. He doesn’t wait for me to pay a penance to reach out his hand to connect with me. He doesn’t withhold his love because my humanity keeps getting in the way. His touch reminds me of grace. God loves and accepts me despite all of my flaws.
I love to walk into a house that smells good. Most of the time, this cannot be said of my little house. The smells of last night’s dinner always seem to hang in the air. Discarded diapers add to the offending odors. I beat back the stink with a lighted candle. One simple flame in a scented jar of wax can completely alter the senses. Pesto chicken is replaced by sweet pomegranate. Lingering Luvs are lost to lemon lavender. There is power in a pleasing fragrance.
And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, I will never again curse the ground because of man… Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done (Gen 8:21 ESV, emphasis added).
And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Eph 5:2 ESV, emphasis added).
Just as the burning candles in my home erase the offending odors, Jesus’ fragrant sacrifice erases my offenses from God’s sight.
#FridayFive Link Up
God gifted us these senses to enjoy and to remind us of Him. What did your five senses bring to mind this week? Share in the comments or link up a sensory post using the button below.
Be sure to come back next week to celebrate and worship God through His many names. Visit Praying and Pronouncing the Names of God for a list. If you are interested in digging deeper into the names of God, sign up for Proverbs 31 first Online Bible Study Class, I Know His Name, by Wendy Blight. Registration ends February 27.
Photo credit: Gregory Bourolias via Unsplash.