I’ve always thought it funny how the slightest little thing can jolt your memory into the past. When I smell oak leaves burning I immediately feel like I’m fifteen again sitting at the organ in the Hughson Church I attended for so many years. The smell of Pastor Brown’s leaf pile burning as he cleans the outside for Sunday Service while I’m practicing the hymns inside to make sure I do my best at services.
When I smell peanut butter I always think of my Grandma Stevens. She would make peanut butter candy for us when we would spend the night. If I smell rubbing alcohol I always think of the smell in the doctors' office just before I’d see the shot coming towards me as a kid.
Usually it is a fragrance that pushes my memory into the past but I remember one time it was something I saw. I had been working in our back yard. I had mowed the lawn and picked a few dead flowers off my little plants. I remember I was on my knees pulling weeds from the little row of flowers planted against the back wall of our house.
I noticed everything start to take on an odd color. I guess I figured it was a little later than I'd thought and turned to get up and go start dinner. As I straightened up to a standing position the color of the sky caught my eye. It was the brightest and truest pink I’d ever seen. It was so intense the air around me seemed pink too. I don’t know why it affected me so intensely but all I saw was pink. All I could think of at that moment was the two beautiful little girls we had lost just a few months before. I burst into an uncontrollable few minutes of tears. I still don’t know why I broke unless it was my eyes and heart connecting the vibrant pink to our recent loss.
I remember sitting on a lawn chair wiping my tears away with hands covered with mud. Larry walked into the yard from the field. When he looked at me he didn’t know if he should comfort me or laugh at me. He said I looked like a sad raccoon. With the raccoon comment everything seemed better. Soon we were laughing and enjoying our dinner in the freshly groomed garden.
When I had time to think about it I felt like God had colored the sky so beautifully that afternoon just for me. I felt He was reminding me life is precious, make it count, and don’t be afraid to laugh or cry. I felt as if God had put His hand on my shoulder. I love it when He does that. It makes me feel special.
Even now when I see a brilliant pink sky I claim it as mine as a reminder God is always near and knows our every thought, every memory, and every need. I hope in your life you seek Him when you need comfort but I pray sometimes you feel His comfort and His presence when you haven’t asked for it. I pray you feel Him touching you on the shoulder.