Even as the Grinder Blared On

by DanWolgemuth on July 11, 2014

Two blocks from our home is a stand of Ponderosa pine trees.  These wonderful trees are esteemed enough to escalate the value of any home that is fortunate enough to share an address with them.

As much as homeowners esteem this cohabitation, the trees themselves don’t welcome disruptive intruders.  Over the years I’ve watched as these trees have slowly, but decisively died.

Several days ago, a Denver company by the name of Aesthetic Tree Services was parked adjacent to this stand of trees, but their task was far from aesthetic.  They were systematically cutting down several of the dead trees and subsequently pulverizing them into tiny bits.  The roar of the grinder gave evidence to the gravity of the situation.

Amidst all of the realities associated with this process, there was an unexpected sensory experience.  As I rode my bike past the oversized equipment, the fragrance in the air was captivating and powerful.  Authentic pine smells are an emotional experience.  With the power of Star Trek technology, the fragrance transports me to reflective and restful places.  I’ve come to expect this in the vast pine forests of Colorado, but the aroma seemed out of place, and frankly, more powerful.

It took only seconds for my mind to race to family members and friends who are fighting for their lives.  Cancer and other illnesses have washed over healthy bodies like a tsunami, and yet, even in dying the fragrance of life and hope radiates.

The once green Ponderosa pines, now brown and lifeless, still produce the fragrance of life… right down to their final moments of existence.

“Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life.”  (2 Corinthians 2:14)

Even in the waning moments of mortal existence, those with the life of Christ flowing through them, produce a fragrance of life… even while life is escaping, their lives are rescuing those around them.  Death and dying is just one more opportunity to expose the power of true life.

Even in the valley of the shadow of death, we fear no evil, because God is with us, producing the aroma of life that fills the spaces we occupy.

I experienced it with the Ponderosas; I know it to be true in so many that I love and respect.

In living and in dying… the aroma of Christ.

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