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Fragrance

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“Is there someone who can wrap these flowers?” I asked the store clerk as I paid for my bouquet of bright pink carnations nestled in baby’s breath.

“I’ll call someone to floral,” he said.

As I waited, I lifted the flowers to my nose and smelled their spicy-sweet fragrance. Soon a young man, who told me he was about to graduate from high school, arrived at the floral counter and pulled out pink tissue paper and cellophane.

“May I ask the occasion for the flowers?” he inquired as he wrapped my bouquet.

“It’s for my granddaughter.” I smiled. “She did a great job at her piano recital today.”

“Nice,” he said. “I used to play the drums at Cedar Park.”

“Cedar Park Church?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he said, “but I don’t go there anymore.”

“Where do you go now?” I asked, looking at his name badge.

“Nowhere,” he replied, wrapping the bouquet.

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that, Jared.” I paused, then added, “Jesus is coming back soon, and it’s important to be ready.” I smiled. “I’m listening for the trumpet sound.”

“I’m an agnostic, so I don’t believe like that.” Jared pulled out a white ribbon to tie around the bouquet.

“Just keep reading the Bible,” I said. “Do you have one?”

“No, but I can borrow my mom’s if I need one.”

As we talked more, I learned his mother was a Christian, but he didn’t know much about his father. When I mentioned I would rather err believing in God than not believing, he replied, “Well, if I’m wrong, I’ll find out and pay for it.” He glanced toward the checkout clerk and said, “Looks like I’m needed.”

“Thanks for wrapping my bouquet,” I said, wrapping up the conversation. “You did a great job.” I looked at the white ribbon tied around the bouquet and wished I could tie up our conversation with a happy ending for Jared.

As I walked to the car, I remembered verses in Jude: “Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire” (vv. 22, 23). I joined my waiting husband in the car and prayed aloud, “Lord, draw Jared’s heart to Jesus. May he seek and find You.”

I continue to pray that God will use my conversation to stir Jared’s thinking and draw him to Jesus so he will know that God exists. I pray he wants a relationship with Him now and for eternity.

Although I had stopped by the store briefly to buy fragrant flowers, God brought an unexpected witnessing opportunity — an opportunity to spread the aroma of life.

But thanks be to God, who always leads us . . . and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved . . . an aroma that brings life (2 Corinthians 2:14-16).

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Lydia E. Harris has accumulated over 1,000 writing credits since 1998. Her articles have appeared in such publications as Clubhouse, Clubhouse Jr., LIVE, Mature Years, and Purpose. She has also contributed to 29 books, including Blessed Among Women, For Better, For Worse, The Power of Prayer, and Treasures of a Woman’s Heart. For the past 20 years Lydia has written “A Cup of Tea With Lydia,” a column published in 20 Country Register newspapers in the US and Canada, with about a half-million readers. She and her husband live in Lake Forest Park, WA.