“Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.” John 12:3
There is a fragrance in our house at the moment. The word fragrance evokes images of something pleasant. Perhaps the word smell would better describe it.
Earlier on in the week, perhaps Monday, my husband arrived home very late. I had made a Bolognese sauce to go with pasta and left it in the pan for him to heat through. Then I had gone to bed. Apparently, between switching on the hotplate and returning to see how it was doing, he had fallen asleep on the sofa. Who knows how long he was asleep, but I can guess what it was that woke him up – smoke!
I was woken up by the smell of the smoke and made my way downstairs through a misty haze.
My husband was in the kitchen “dealing with it”. The black burnt remains of the sauce were being scraped into the bin.
Since that day, the “fragrance” has hung about the house. I find myself sniffing the hall carpet, the net curtain in the kitchen, the towels in the bathroom and, yes, even pressing my nose against the painted wall of the hallway. The smell seems to have permeated every surface of the house. Doors and windows left wide open seem to have little effect in diminishing the odour.
Just how long does it take? What else must I do?
It reminds me of the story of Mary breaking the jar of perfume over Jesus’ feet and filling her home with its wonderful fragrance. How long did the fragrance fill her home? Did she open all the windows and doors to try to clear the house of the aroma? Did she, perhaps, keep the doors closed to try to hold on to the fragrance? For week afterwards, did she pick up things and catch a hint of the perfume that remained?
There is nothing pleasant about the aroma of burnt Bolognese sauce. If only my husband had spilled a bottle of perfume instead!