The misty almost eerie beauty that awaited us was breathtaking and quite unexpected. The color pallet seemed to have been reduced to only a few hues but that simplicity only made the view more spectacular. Unlike any landscape I had ever seen I found myself enjoying this very unique, one of a kind beauty.
In contrast to the yellows and greens and grays the crowds of people surrounding the shore of this unusual lake stood looking out upon the mist which rose up to meet the low hanging clouds. They too were originals. Each one reflected the image of God, each a one of a kind work of art crafted by the Master's hands.
As I looked at the surreal scene slowly morphing with time I began to ever so slightly adjust to the horrendous smell of sulfur. I knew it was all about me, engulfing everything in its toxic aroma but it seemed to loose its impact over time. Soon it was almost forgotten.
How easy it is to loose our awareness of just how much our sin is a stench that clings to our very being. We see the beauty of God's creation in those around us and His image reflected in our mirrors as we examine ourselves and over time loose our sense of smell. We convince ourselves that we aren't that bad and that all people are ultimately good. We use masks to try and filter out the awful smells of our failure, shame, and guilt. We try desperately to cling to the notion that it's all good when the relentless acrid fumes convict us.
How easy it is to confuse God's creative genius reflected in all of us with our accomplishments. Although we are all intensely beautiful the smell of sin remains.
I stand in awe of God as he showers His mercy and grace upon us to wash us making us clean. In Christ we can be the unique creative miracles He intended us to be as well as to be wonderfully fragrant.