Don’t we all; however, that doesn’t happen too often. Fortunately for me, I have fabulous friends who will swoop in from time to time and kidnap me for the day. Yesterday was one of those days.
A sweet friend picked me up and pointed her car north towards the North Georgia mountains where we spent the day knocking around small towns along the way. We talked, laughed, ate and shopped. It was such great fun.
One thing I noticed as we went from shop to shop. It seemed like every shop had it’s own fragrance. Some smelled of candles, some of soaps and others lotions. Still there were others that had potpourri or air fresheners in them.
Some of the fragrances didn’t agree with me and instantly gave me a headache.
I’m not sure if it was the fragrance or the abundance of it.
There was one shop that had a very gentle, inviting aroma that greeted you the moment you walked in the door. It wasn’t overpowering, yet it also wasn’t so faint you didn’t detect it. It was just right. It sounds a little like Baby Bear’s porridge in The Three Little Bears doesn’t it; except it wasn’t porridge, it was Humble Pie. That was the name of the shop. Or rather, that will be the name of the shop. You see, it isn’t opened yet. Let me explain…
We were drawn to the things in the store widows. They were cute, tasteful and different. We paused on two separate times walking by this shop. Finally, the shop owner opened the door and greeted us, dust rag in hand. He told us he was opening on Friday. When we told him how sad we were to hear it since we were leaving that afternoon, he invited us in to have a look.
Well, now it gets kind of like If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. We came in to look, then he asked if we liked his things and the layout of his store we choseg things we liked and showed him and we also made suggestions about the layout of the store (Hey, don’t judge….he asked). We both commented on the sweet smell of the place and learned it was soap he was selling. He gave us each a sample.
By the time we left, the owner, Steve, he had become a friend. He allowed us to make cash purchases if we had the right change because he didn’t have a cash register, credit card machine or anything yet.
We looked like thieves as we walked down the street carrying our garments and jewelry in our hands (he didn’t have any shopping bags yet either).
Needless to say, we will be back to visit Humble Pie.
On the long ride back to Atlanta, I pondered the different people we met, the shops we visited and especially the fragrances of each one. Some were so overpowering they were offensive. Others were so faint, they almost went unnoticed. I found it ironic that the most inviting of all was the place called Humble Pie.
2 Corinthians 2:16 says we are to be the fragrance of life, that is the fragrance of Christ. Verse 14 of the same chapter says,
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him.”
Some people are about as subtle and inviting with the Gospel as a bull in a China Shop and as a result, they offend people. They push them far away from Jesus or any desire to get to know Him. Others are so faint and timid, people don’t even know what they believe. 2 Timothy 1:7 says,
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”
There has to be a balance. I think the name of the store we visited last, the one with the inviting fragrance, gives us a clue. Micah 6:8 spells it out clearly,
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
Who knew a day of shopping, food and fellowship would deliver a message from God. I love that about Him. He speaks to me in all things.
On a side note, if you find yourself anywhere near Blue Ridge, Georgia after Valentine’s Day weekend, stop in on Main Street and visit Humble Pie. Tell Steve I sent you.
*For directions to Humble Pie, go here.