Again and again I find myself returning to the mystery of fragrant lives, and the wonderful sweetness that emanates from those who love Yahshua. We know that Yahweh loves perfume, we need only spend time in a garden of flowers to understand that. He had an exclusive perfume created to His own instructions, for burning as a sweet incense in the Tabernacle [Exodus 30:34-38]. The Song of Solomon, a book of poetry and love, is redolent with the fragrance of spices. The writer describes his bride as being ‘a garden locked up’, listing all kinds of beautiful spices [4:12-14], and her response is to call on the winds to blow on her garden “that its fragrance may spread everywhere” [4:16].
We have all met people who trust in Yahshua whose lives have a gentleness and charm that touches the heart. It is surely “the heavenly charm of a broken spirit and a contrite heart, the beautiful music that rises from a minor key, and the sweetness brought about by the touch of frost on ripened fruit” [Anon]. It is a fragrance awakened by the winds of adversity that blow through our lives, often creating what seems like havoc, and yet leaving behind the imprint of beauty.
Reflecting on an ancient Persian fable, an unknown author created this thoughtful poem:
A Persian fable says: One day
A wanderer found a lump of clay
So redolent of sweet perfume
Its odours scented all the room.
‘What are thou?’ was his quick demand,
‘Art thou some gem from Samarkand,
Or spikenard in this rude disguise,
Or other costly merchandise?’
‘Nay: I am but a lump of clay.’
‘Then whence this wondrous perfume–say!’
‘Friend, if the secret I disclose,
I have been dwelling with the Rose.’
Sweet parable! and will not those
Who love to dwell with Sharon’s Rose,
Distil sweet odours all around,
Though low and mean themselves are found?
Dear Lord, abide with us that we
May draw our perfume fresh from Thee.
Inevitably, I’m drawn to the apostle Paul’s thought that Yahweh, through us, diffuses the fragrance of the knowledge of Yahshua in every place [2 Corinthians 2:14]. May we always be open to learn more of Him, and to allow the winds He sends to blow through our lives.