Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It Smelled of Heaven

I decided to go out and sit in the sun.

I needed it that day. My patience had run out before the dawn and I was pregnant weary and overwhelmed and needing light. And needing Light.

I plopped myself into a lawn chair and began to watch my two little cherubs enter into an outside world of wonder. I was calloused and showing it.

But as for them....from the moment they stepped off the concrete patio....they flew. Oh to be two again, five again. Free.

The both of them...the younger mimicking the older...spread their arms out wide, tilt their sweet heads back, knees lifted in a runners form....and yes, fly. Playing airplanes. Pretending to soar while their souls really do. Feet still on the earth's floor - but heart's climbing high towards heaven and faces showing it.

They're barefoot...unafraid of what might lay beneath their tiny feet - they frolic in faith. And they swing on skinny tree limbs and they flourish. They don't miss out. They won't let shoeless feet or thin tree branches keep them from divine discovery, from joy.

And it cuts away at my callousness a little.

As the young one guides a toy tractor along our fence post - the older one brings me a simple white flower from our landscaping. Almost out of duty, I stick my nose in the center ...not expecting to smell anything good, hope-empty, and void of expectancy. I take a careless whiff.

And I'm shocked at what my nose is telling me. With my boy still standing next to me - my eyes grow wide and I smell again. Hope arises. And I smell again. And I'm divinely reminded of beauty and goodness and grace. And I smell again. Faith is found in a simple white flower that has been planted outside my kitchen window for years. Yet, I had never sniffed of it.

It had the smell of jasmine and lilac and honeysuckle and sweetness all rolled into a white blossom. It was so unlike the headache-inducing bottled variety. It was pure. And undefiled. And beautifully pleasant.

Because of my doubt in Goodness - I was surprised by a scent. Because of their child-like faith - they weren't.

As the children realized my delight (for they had known it would smell of Him) they went over and with small hands continued to pick my faith flowers. They came and stuck them to my nose and then dropped them in my lap. Dozens of them. And dozens more. And delighted in watching their Mommy find Him.

With each whiff I heard a whisper...

"How did it get there, Kate? How do you think the sweet smell your inhaling got there? How? Tell Me, doubt-filled one. Tell Me. Where did the fragrance of flowers come from, child?"

And I almost cry. Because yes - it had to get there somehow. By Someone. Yes - the Flower Former Himself. How else could such a lovely fragrance waft from something born of seed in dirt? Yes - from Love.

Just like the fragrance of flowers can't be mocked or mimicked in a bottle...I can't describe what this simple pleasure did for my faith-less heart. I can't bottle it up into words.

And perhaps He didn't want me to. Perhaps it was meant just for me. (For He meets each one where they are - in surprising and undoing ways.)

As I look now - at those white flowers flourishing out my window....a fresh faith begins to emerge. Because the Flower Former is the Faith Filler, too. Faith is a grace gift. And I receive it.

And I believe.

And I'm unravelled. And I want to spread my arms out wide and soar and I want to run barefoot - baring soul - and I want to swing from risky tree limbs and I don't want to miss out on a thing.

Especially the faith flowers.

Because if I dare -  if I'm brave enough to adventure into a world of wonder with the Whisperer - maybe, just maybe I'll get to a place in life....where I get to be the child-like, faith-filled one....picking faith flowers for other noses void of hope and dull in grace.

Make me more like them, Father. Like the two year old and the five year old fresh from You. They know You and trust You and see You and recognize You. Yes, Father - undo me....into a woman who continues to waft in and take whiffs of.... Grace. And while my feet are still planted here on earth's soil....let my faith soar! Let it take flight and furnish other unbelieving minds with the stuff of You! In Jesus...

John 1:1-13
Matthew 19:13-14