Written on March 9, 2016. By Shari Norvell
It doesn’t take much to capsize my boat. The slightest breeze leads to an upside down plunge. And when my tippy canoe uprights, it is filled with wonder. The Wonder that leads through the waters of Delight and to the island of Awe.
I felt a billowing breeze afoot yesterday as I did science with the girls. They have grown accustomed to my upendings right in the middle lessons and learnings. And most of the time, they topsy turvy with me. And yesterday, they were as caught in the current as I was.
It began with a question. “Can God smell?” Their eyes got a faraway look, a bit dreamy actually, as they perused a thought they hadn’t yet thunk. After some merry moments, they both looked at me with grins and said, “We think He can. Is that right?”
I told them of a few verses that describe God as smelling. Ephesians 5:2 says that Jesus sacrifice was “like a fragrant aroma” to God. And Revelation 5:8 speaks of the incense of our prayers. But it was when I read a scripture in their book that the overturn occurred.
There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell. Deuteronomy 4:28
That description got me. Simple and stupendous. Pappa went so far beyond saying that idols were useless or powerless. Through speaking of the senses, He illustrated. He invited. For He spoke to a people in need of return. A past people not so very different from some present persons.
Powerfully phrased and perfectly potent, Pappa was sharing something precious. His image. Our image. He was saying that if a “god’ before us can’t even do what we can, it is simply an idol that has caught our eye or captured our fancy.
He wrapped His words in leather and lace that we might know His strength and His tenderness. There is no other god that is as He is. Or as we are. For we were made as Him, by Him, for Him. And it is not enough to look at God. He is meant to be experienced in order to be fully known. The hebrew word is ‘yada’. “To be known. To go beyond belief into encounter. To become one.”
I can’t always explain why things impact me the way they do. But in that moment, I was captivated to my core. How deep and wide He went, He goes, to reveal His love for us. He made it so easy. For we experience exactly as He does. With senses as our sails.
We giddy girls read on and discovered that the “senses” have been redefined a bit. And it made some pulsings and murmurs inside me come to life. There is one general sense, touch, followed by five special senses; sight, hearing, smell, taste and balance. Very grateful for the add of balance as it really helps my careening kayak come topside once more!
As my reading became real, I recognized how very accessible He is. The predominate sense is touch because it affects us in the entirety of our being. Covered in skin, not touch goes unnoticed. Truly, we are never untouched, whether by fabric, sunlight, starsong, moonscape or raindrop. We are constantly caressed by breeze, heat or chill. We feel everything. So does He. Everything He does touches us and all we do touches Him. He is so very present. And He’s asking us to be.
From there, I thought of all the reminders and remembers He sowed into creation. I thought of all the beaches I have rested upon watching ripples from rocks. And how the waves of the sea are just like that of our ears. And I realize how softly His voice comes and how far it goes.
Onward still, I thought of how an eye is a ball, set securely in a socket. Firmly founded just as we are in Him. We can’t even “look” without “seeing” His foundation formed for us. Never far from Him even when we look the other way.
And then. Then I thought of how quickly I often pass something across my lips to be fed, and He pauses me to savor it till satisfied. And how. How my heart is His banquet. It is the taste He takes to know where we are, how close and content. He loves to taste and see me. Sustenance for God am I. Are you.
Back to where we started. Smell. Can God smell? Yes. My song is His flower. My sound His fragrance. My voice His invitation to inhale deeply.
We ended yesterday’s science lesson caught in the current of His constant, capturing love. We rest wrapped in far and fervently He went and goes still that we would know and be known. He is good. And if you ask Him, so are we.
Spend some time with HIM utilizing all the senses He gave you, that you may always know you are His image. Experience Him and journal all you see, taste, hear, smell. Journal every way this touched Him! And how utterly back in balance it brought you. No wood, stone or electric now enough.