Living my life in the company of international people has introduced my senses to many new things. New flavors I savor as we share meals together, clothing combinations and textile patterns that delight my eyes, kisses of greeting from other women which no longer surprise me, and the sounds of foreign languages and international music highlight the beauty of diversity. Then, there is the sense of smell.

I have encountered aromas and odors that have certainly opened my sinuses or clung to me and my clothes. I have visited homes with family members who enjoy burning strong incense, homes that had caged pigeons inside, homes where airborne cooking spices have made me cough, homes that housed more than a dozen people with different hygiene practices, and the list goes on. Those aromas can stick around for a while. Did you know that to many international people, Anglo-Americans smell bad? Some Far Easterners describe it as “ground beef and cigarettes.” Others think we smell like sour milk!

While none of us can change the genetics behind our “aromas,” I do hope the DNA of our Christianity will spread the fragrance of Jesus everywhere. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 2:15, “For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.”