Fragrance. Fight. Forward.

September 15, 2015  - By Gretchen Saffles

On August 13th, heaven received a precious follower of Christ. Kyra Karr, missionary in Italy, wife, and momma to three beautiful girls, was killed in car accident, instantly taking her home to the presence of God. The news of her death knocked the wind out of many. She lived with purpose, intention, and a deep, abiding joy in Christ. In many ways, her death has sparked a revival in the hearts of many, including mine. This past weekend, I listened to her funeral while at the gym. As I jogged on the treadmill, tears stung my eyes and God met me with a reminder that we are to live for Him alone. Right there, on that treadmill, He scrubbed my heart and reshaped it once more to be a vessel for His glory. Kyra, my sister in Christ, lived this life for the next one.

In the funeral, Kyra’s pastor from Italy spoke of her life, describing it with three words: Fragrance, Fight, and Forward. Three words that will forever have an impact on my life. 


Kara’s life smelled of Christ. Even through the Facebook posts and news articles that spread about her death, Jesus was (and still is) glorified. I almost started weeping on that treadmill. Just that morning I had a negative attitude towards my husband. It was impatience at its best. At that moment, my life did not smell of the beauty of the gospel. It smelled of myself, which currently was sweaty and reeked of impatience and self-centeredness. Praise God His grace is greater than our sins! It is not our fragrance that others smell; it is Christ’s. We cannot manufacture this through a false smile, perfect home, or facade of happiness. We cannot create this fragrance through the most expensive perfumes. In order for us to smell of the fragrance of Christ, we have to spend time in His presence. 

Paul describes how we are the fragrance of Christ in 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 –

“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?

You life is to smell like your Savior and be a fragrant aroma to the world. This is your purpose. Through your home, your work, your social media accounts, and your daily errands, you are to spread the fragrance of Christ. How do you do this? Through telling others about Him. Jesus should always be on the tip of your tongue. The gospel should flavor your speech and mold your attitudes and actions. There are days I know I smell of myself and not Christ. I spend too much time looking at myself in the mirror and my problems with a magnifying glass. I end up smelling just like I did after I ran on the treadmill Saturday – stinky and sour. God’s grace showers us. He washes us clean of ourselves and imparts the fragrance of Christ through the cross so we, too, can smell of Christ and the world can know Him!


Too many days I fight the wrong fight. I battle flesh and blood with my own fists instead of the power of God’s holy Word. I stand up against temptation in my own strength and fall flat on my face defeated. We weren’t meant to fight against people or other believers. We are to fight against the ploys of Satan using the weapons Christ has given us for this warfare. We waste precious energy fighting the wrong fight. The fight we fight has already been won by Christ on the cross. Through Christ you have the victory. Let’s fight the right fight, the good fight of the faith.


We are all heading somewhere. Each step we take is a step in a direction. Jesus tells us how we are to follow Him in Luke 9:23 –

“The he said to them all, ‘whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.'”

The way of Christ is the way of the cross. We are to move forward in this life toward the prize of knowing Christ more deeply. Some days the steps you take will come easily and quickly. Other days it will take every ounce of energy to choose what’s best and walk in the way of the cross. Move forward for His glory and His fame.

I praise God for Kyra’s life and her legacy that still speaks. She lived a life that smelled of Christ, fought the good fight, and moved forward for the gospel of Christ. Let us follow her example and live for what lasts. 

What does your life smell like? What fight are you fighting? What direction are you heading?

Fragrance. Fight. Forward. 

Jesus, we long to smell of You! Amen. 

your sister traveling with you,


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