Kirkepiscatoid

Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!


I woke up this morning with a very strange but very Holy Saturday kind of thought. I awoke to imagining smelling the inside of the tomb. I could smell the damp, dank, interior, the smell of the spices that must have impregnated the burial shroud over the undertone of putrefaction, and what I can best describe as "body fluid smells."

Those of you who have spent time in the healthcare field or in emergency medical services will know exactly what I am talking about. It's the "rusty" smell of old sticky blood. It's the "protein" smell of pulmonary edema or peritoneal ascites fluid, or the serous fluid inside of blisters. It's dried urine. It's the smell of a hot appendix removed in the OR. It's the smell of amniotic fluid all over the delivery room drapes. It is a smell that accompanies birth and death. It's a smell that comes with healing and disease.

In that half asleep, half awake moment, I knew I was literally "in the tomb with Jesus." I don't care for total darkness. But I did not feel afraid, because the body fluid smells were so familiar, and in an odd way, comforting. I imagine I smell those smells all the time in the cytology fluids brought to my lab, traversing the halls, and the leftovers of them mixed with formalin in surgical pathology specimens...so much so, I scarcely notice them most days. But I certainly noticed them in my half asleep state, and they felt, well...calming.

But there seemed to be, in my dream state, a synergy about all these smells. Something about them was more than just "cave smell," "Body fluid smell", and "perfumed putrefaction smell."

Then it hit me...is this the smell of the Resurrection?

When I take my dogs out at night, I remain continually entertained by their sense of smell. Smells are so vivid to them that I cannot smell at all. I know I must seem like a horribly inferior being to them. I will tease little Eddie, "Whachoo smell, Ed-wud?" and he will look at me as if to say, "You STOOPID or sumtin? Day are smells all over dis place! You not smell 'em?" as he vigorously works at marking all the smells.

But it got me to thinking. Is there an innate and holy part of us that "smells Resurrection?" Do our noses become filled with it when we get "in synch" with Holy Week, but our brains are just too feeble to process it?

I am taking the morning for myself today as a "silent Saturday morning." I needed it. This week has been non-stop at work. I want to slap people silly when they tritely tell me I need to "stop and smell the roses." But I do know one thing. I needed this morning to stop and smell the Resurrection, even if I have no clue what it smells like. I am just going to trust that my heart knows the smell, even if my brain doesn't.

2 comments:

Beautiful!

I have a friend who came to a dying church almost 20 years ago and turned it around to a thriving, amazing community of faith which was recognized by a national ecumenical group that awarded 300 outstanding churches about 5 years ago.

When asked how he did it, he said, "This place was so close to death you could smell the resurrection."

Got it.

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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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