The Odor of a Faraway Land


In my proposal that we embrace our citizenship in another Land, I am suggesting that we bring the odor of that land with us so long as we live in this one. In dancing to the music of a far-off land, perhaps we can create a curiosity that will draw others into the Wedding Party. We are, after all, ambassadors of Christ. Ambassadors represent!

“In speaking of this desire for our own faroff country, which we find in ourselves even now, I feel a certain shyness. I am almost committing an indecency. I am trying to rip open the inconsolable secret in each one of you—the secret which hurts so much that you take your revenge on it by calling it names like Nostalgia and Romanticism and Adolescence; the secret also which pierces with such sweetness that when, in very intimate conversation, the mention of it becomes imminent, we grow awkward and affect to laugh at ourselves; the secret we cannot hide and cannot tell, though we desire to do both. We cannot tell it because it is a desire for something that has never actually appeared in our experience. We cannot hide it because our experience is constantly suggesting it, and we betray ourselves like lovers at the mention of a name. Our commonest expedient is to call it beauty and behave as if that had settled the matter. Wordsworth’s expedient was to identify it with certain moments in his own past. But all this is a cheat. If Wordsworth had gone back to those moments in the past, he would not have found the thing itself, but only the reminder of it; what he remembered would turn out to be itself a remembering. The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

Worldlings use Niceness and Coolness to create a sense of unworldliness. We’ve established that both of those states of being aren’t open to the Christian, so may I suggest a few things we can do?

1) Pay attention to the moment that you’re in. Eternity is most reflected in the Now than in any other time. You, as an immortal, have less concern for what happens in 100 years or even in 5 than those condemned to live no closer to Heaven than this mortal coil. You’ll live to watch the Sun flicker out… but what you do with this moment will resonate in eternity. Be now.

2) Delight in what is on your plate, should your moment be anything but misery. Accept what you have been given as a gift, and enjoy it to the fullest. You don’t have to be shy, you are beloved and can rest in that truth. Be known for your laughter, your smile, your ability to take the good from any situation. “Pollyanna”? That’s a compliment for such as we.

3) Rejoice. Rejoice at all times.

4) Reflect beauty. Care about it and let it live in you. Love is so beautiful… let the light of love shine from your every pore.

5) Diligence. Whatever your work, do it with all your might. Be known for your care.

6) Kindness and love. Be known for your consideration for others over yourself. Remember that your future is secure. Be an ambassador for your King, who is Love itself.

When I was a girl, there were a few elderly ladies in my home congregation that glowed with Holy Light. It wasn’t their skin, it was a near-visible presence about them of Goodness. That is what I want for myself. That is what I want for all of us, dear sibling.

To get out of the way and let His Light shine through us, to let that blessed scent of Paradise waft from the corners of our clothes as we pass by, that’s what will bring the lost Home. And what else have we to do?

The time is so short. So short. We must allow ourselves to be transformed *today*, not waiting for the weight of years to sand off our selves. Leave our baggage behind, and dance to the music that we have been given, create an appetite for those far shores in those around us.

You’re an ambassador of Christ. How should you represent your King and your Country?

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