Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Essence Of Lilacs

Early this morning a visitor crept up our garden path and hung a surprise package on the front door handle. The thoughtful creeper was my mum, and, assuming we were all asleep during these blissful school holiday mornings, tiptoed in and out unseen and unheard.

Her little gift was a spray of lilacs, which quickly found a happy home in my study. The perfume is heady and enticing, and after a cold winter they are the promise of sunshine and warmer days.

For generations lilacs have been the symbol of early love. But the color has also been associated with mourning. Widows in the late 1880s dressed in lilac and lavender when their official mourning periods were over, and their writing stationery was bordered with lilac trim.Traditionally the wood of the lilac tree has been used for engraving, musical instruments and knife handles. Amazingly, it is also known to retain the blossoms’ aroma, so that even when it’s burned it produces the lilac scent.

Today lilacs sit in a vase on my desk in the sun. Somewhere else lilac twigs may be thrown onto a consuming fire. But the fragrance is always present. And even when the flowers have been stripped away, the bouquet remains embedded in the wood, and is intensified by the heat.

Isn’t this the journey of life? How easy it is to be a sweet balm in the splendor of the sun. How much harder to do the same in the furnace of life’s trials. What we allow to be infused in us, is what we will offer to those around us, in every circumstance.

We know the Lord Jesus reflected the love of the Father.
Eph 5:2 ... Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

As I work on my writing, I am learning to not be afraid of the fire. Some days I need the sun to draw my thoughts out gently. Other days I need a fire storm. Either way, I desire the fragrance of God to be there. Can I be like the lilacs?