Daily Devotions
 
Daily Devotion
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

Just last week I received in the mail one of the games I backed on Kickstarter and Abi and I were extremely excited. I’m particularly intrigued by games that have odd mechanics (the way you play the game) and innovative components (the pieces). “Aroma” comes with 20 tiny bottles of essential oils you’re meant to smell and identify. It comes with rules for FOUR distinct games you can play with them, but in the end, you’re just identifying smells. I have literally never seen a game like this.

Abi and Jackson and I sat down to play and immediately realized that two of us are incredibly bad at identifying scents, even intense ones, and one of us is ridiculously good at it (Abi). The bottles are filled with lovely smells like cedarwood, grapefruit, ylang ylang, tea tree, and lavender and it’s soothing to sit there and just smell them. They bring up memories and images, they calm the heart and mind. And I have absolutely no idea what they are! To be fair, there are three separate bottles for lime, orange, and grapefruit—could you tell the differences among them? 

This game reminds me, in the middle of this interminable pandemic, that there are new, delightful things happening. It often seems like we’re wandering in the desert like the Israelites, the same things happening every day, the same manna and quail for our meals, the same frustrations, the same faces. But that’s not entirely true—we’re all finding joy where we can, here and there something innovative happens, and I don’t just mean the murder hornets from months ago! Good Shepherd has been nimble in creating new forms of worship and ways for us all to connect, your families have tried out new restaurants and new activities in your homes, even things that look scary on the outside like this summer’s protests are a sign of newness. 

And friends, smells are one of the ways humans connect to each other and our pasts. Your children smell different than other people’s. The herbs and spices you put in your chicken noodle soup or pot roast make them smell like the way your parents made them. Certain shampoos remind you of that person you had a crush on years ago. Communion bread baking in the oven fills your lungs with anticipation.

What smells do you want to bring into your life more? What smells bring you to a place of calm? What smells to you associate with church or prayer? 

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