The Costliest Perfume

Do you know the difference between wisteria and lilac? This is wisteria!

Do you know the difference between lilac and wisteria? This bouquet is lilac!

Do you ever have a day when you have to unload before you can function? It’s like having your arms full of groceries when someone wants to shake hands. “Hello. Glad to meet you. Let me unload, first…”

Today, chick checks are driving me nuts. We’ve had horrible troubles with a wicked old raccoon, torturing our poor hens have to death and then leaving them to die.  Chickens cower when I check their feed and water. Rain waits until I’m half-way past the lilacs on the way to the coop, before it sends a few drops directly over the rifle. Then I have to dry the rifle so carefully.

Wisteria is a vine that blooms late spring and takes over every stationary object in its path and attracts bumblebees. Lilac is a bush that blooms early spring and smells heavenly.

After lunch, and after the lunchtime chick check, is when I decided it—I had to unload before I could function any more and definitely before I laundered shirts. I calmed myself and gathered gloves and a lopper. Eight joyous branches later, and our dining table centerpiece was doing what lilacs do best. They may be too much perfume for one meal, but are just right, for right now. As the house fills with their scent, I relax.

I once had an opportunity to visit West Bend, Wisconsin, during the bloom time for lilacs. West Bend must have a policy about lilacs because everyone there has them, even fast food places. Arriving at dusk, my family and I wandered out of our car and into the spicy sweetness. Their essence was too strong to recognize on the balmy evening air, but it was sublime, as it is in my house, right now.

Was it like that when Mary bathed and anointed Jesus’ feet? The Word says the house filled with the perfume. Jesus said we always would remember her, too. I feel glad for her sake, but I wonder why He said this and why we remember her.

Of course, her story provides a glimpse into the seamier side of life in Jerusalem. Things were different, then. Adultery and prostitution were against the law, then. Nowadays they are just entertainment for the soaps crowd and fun pastimes for teens. Most kids of today have not heard and would hardly guess these activities are sin, would never be able to guess why. Almost no one can see the demise we’ve inherited from them. Ruined personalities, ruined families, ruined towns, counties—even whole states can trace their downfall to the ruin of marital faithfulness. Whole villages have thrown away the solid ground on which they built. It won’t take much of a wave to wash them away. It will be sad when it comes, and it only takes one village ignoring erosion to start a huge washout.

Will anyone ever see it? Will anyone ever feel sorry about it and stop it?

Mary did, although it meant embarrassment for her.

The perfume of lilacs, faithfully calling to us, can make a difference in this world. Like Mary. I want to be like her. I want to be always at Jesus’ feet.

Published by Katharine

Katharine is a writer, speaker, women's counselor, and professional mom. Happily married over 50 years to the same gorgeous guy. She loves cooking amazing homegrown food, celebrating grandbabies, her golden-egg-laying hennies, and watching old movies with popcorn. Her writing appears at Medium, Arkansas Women Bloggers, Contently, The Testimony Train, Taste Arkansas, Only in Arkansas, and in several professional magazines and one anthology.

8 thoughts on “The Costliest Perfume

  1. Wonderful post! I so agree with you. And, you know, the privacy of our own homes is still a place where we can sin and add a greater separation between us and our Lord!

  2. Of course I know this. Don’t ask my how I know this.

    Thanks, CSM, for the comment, the kind words, the great reminder. They say the way we behave when no one is watching (or no one but spouse and kids are watching) is the true measure of our character. Sure you’ve heard that one, and it is true.

  3. What an incredibly thought-provoking post…I’ll be back for more. 🙂

    I also wanted to stop by and see who has been leaving such kind, encouraging comments on my blog. You have no idea how much you’ve blessed me. 🙂

    I’m glad we’ve “met,” and I look forward to reading what you post.

    Tiff @ The Faery Inn

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