The nurses came in quietly, remorsefully keeping their rounds, collecting vitals with eyes averted. The holy hush of a sanctuary of silence greeted them in my room and left them tiptoeing through the temple of tribulation. The sudden silence of my room was a guilty rebuke of the joyous jubilation they’d just shared with the other mothers just a few doors down, past the newborn nursery.
Finally, one nurse quietly remarked, “There is a beautiful fragrance that greets me every time I come into your room.”
I invited her to breathe in the scent of the flowers that lined the windowsill. Surprised she said, “No, that’s not it.”
“Must be this candle,” I lifted the lid, but she shook her head, wonder in her eyes at the mystery of the source of that beautiful aroma.
I know now what mysterious fragrance filled that quiet room, because it is not a fragrance that can be chemically duplicated, bottled or sold. It is a combination of peace that permeates, crushed from the healing leaves of the Tree of Life, mixed into the balm of Gilead, with a touch from the spikenard scented hand of the healer, scented with just a blush of bruised and broken rose petals. . . a lingering fragrance of the essence of Emily Rose, the heavenly scent of a newborn, a whispering waft of deferred hope.
I miss that fragrance, too. Some days, I catch a faint waft of a scent, and I am reminded of the Comforter who came to me that day – invisible to everyone else, and yet enveloping me in a sweet fragrant embrace, leaving a hint of that scent in my hair, on my skin, imprinted on my soul. Empty arms empty womb; room pregnant with the fragrance of the empty tomb.
Those who sensed the mysterious fragrance saw only loss and sorrow, but I knew the real source. Peace in pain. Love in loss. Alive in loneliness. Part of my flesh in the presence of the Lord. Bounty in barrenness, beauty for ashes, oil of joy for mourning.
What a fragrance there is in breaking the alabaster jar of worship and praise in the midst of loss and pain. Fragrance cannot be imprisoned in a casket of alabaster. Praise releases the fragrance from the burial bonds of fallible earth. Worship releases the aroma, as it arises on the smoke of our sacrifice, to the heavenly realms where He stores each scented tear.
Has your bruising released a fragrance? Don’t hide or run from the pain. It is accompanied by a special gift, an aromatic offering that will guide you to the source of all fragrance, where you will find comfort and consolation in the arms of the spikenard scented Saviour.