“I smell carrots!” I shouted while making lunch.

“I wonder why?” My husband, Dana, eyed the metal grater against which I was scraping a pungent orange carrot for my salad.

“But these actually smell like carrots.” I held the root stump to my nose. One week before, it had been yanked from the soil of the organic farm in Brunswick where I’ve been helping since April. “There is something seriously wrong when carrots you buy at the grocery store don’t smell like carrots,” I said, continuing to grate away.

A few minutes later, our daughter, Lydia, who’d been in the living room practicing piano, bounced into the kitchen and said, “Wow! I smell carrots!”

Dana and I looked at each other and laughed.

“Did you hear me say that?” I asked.

“Say what?” she asked.

I planned to write this in the journal of funny quotes and warm memories I’ve kept of for each of my kids since they were born. But then I realized it also belongs here.

Minus the plastic packaging, the carrots that I usually buy at the grocery store and the ones from the farm look identical. But pull them out of the bag, and the only way to tell the difference is by their smell. As Christ followers, we often look the part of a Christian by putting on nice clothes for church and shouting “Amen!” But do we carry the smell when we drive home?

“For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing,” the apostle Paul wrote in II Corinthians 2:15.

So, if the ‘bag’ is the church, and I am the carrot… am I so saturated with the presence of Christ that I am fragrant? Or do I stink?

After my two oldest sons returned from a week of camping in the Maine woods with our church, I immediately sent them to wash their clothes. However, when I walked in one son’s room the next day, I found a pile of laundry on the floor. To see whether it was clean, I picked up a shirt and (READER BEWARE!) sniffed. Big mistake!

The cure was a good washing!

Want to get clean? Christ beats Tide every time.

Revelation 1:5 “… Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.”

What does being the “fragrance of Christ” mean to you? How do you live this in your daily life?