Reviewing and renewing Biblical faith through story and study

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Smelling the truth

I am at meetings in Sydney and sharing a room (incidentally with a name amazingly close to mine - David Edgar!)...

This morning, while I packed my bag to return home tonight he said, "Do you smell something burning?" I had noticed that he was purposefully wandering around the room looking for something. Now I knew what he was concerned about - something smelled like fire.

I don't have a sense of smell. Never have. Born broken! Anyway, I don't smell fire, I see it. And there wasn't any to see. I said, "No, I don't smell anything." (Which is more true than when most people say it!) Then he discovered that the bedsheet that I had taken off my bed and placed near the door (on the stove) was being burnt. One of the knobs had been nudged - probably as I put the sheet on the stove - and it was on the lowest setting. The sheet and tea towel on the burner were imprinted with scorched rings. His nose had been right. Something certainly was burning!

A discussion about my lack of functioning olfactory senses then ensued. It is true - I have never been able to smell. And yes, I can taste food. Does it taste the same? I wouldn't know. Food has always tasted without being smelled for me. And I know what I'm eating. I can tell when milk is going off before it smells off. But most milk chocolate tastes the same to me - expensive or cheap - it all tastes like milk chocolate. But I like dark chocolate - the darker the better. I like the bitterness. I like coffee strong without sugar. something about the bitterness is delicious to me. Is this experience shared by the smelling community? Not sure.

Any way, back to the burner. My roommate told me that he has always had an overactive olfactory neve. The smell of burnt linen caused him to sneeze! Someone with a name so close to mine has an awareness of scents so different than mine. And that one little difference makes his experience of the world so extremely different than mine. He smells everything. I smell nothing. He reacts violently to things that I would walk right by without even noticing.

What stops you? What draws your attention? What are you atuned too? What do you walk right by? What's on fire in your life? Do you smell it? What do you avoid because it's too strong for your senses? What are you drawn too? What affect do you have on the things that bother/shock you? How are you involved in changing your local picture - your environment? What can you do?