I felt dense.

On Monday I wrote about how a tiny little hyacinth plant filled the room with its sweet perfume. One commenter noted, innocuously enough, that the post reminded her of the passage from John 12, where the woman breaks open her jar of expensive perfume and pours it on Jesus’ feet. Remarkably, this was the same passage preached on Sunday at my church! And my pastor asked a provoking question:  are we breaking our wills at Jesus’ feet, offering it all, our very lives, just like this woman did?

I felt dense because I wrote the post on Monday morning–and had already forgotten Sunday’s sermon and thought-provoking question.Yep– even based on similar subject matter! Astounding how short my memory can be… and the chasm between Sunday and Monday. And, God used another blogger, a relative stranger, to point this out. (thank you, blogger friend, Crumbs From His Table !  click here to read the post and the comment I’m referring to).

Ahem. {Here’s where I gather my fallen flower petals and admit truth and learn the lesson and move on.}

I’m getting a part of  the message. The obvious is: He’s telling me to wake up and pay more attention; don’t simply listen, also remember, and do! But the rest– frankly, I’m not sure yet, and I may need to be hit with a few bricks on the head before it reaches the nearly impenetrable gap between listening and actually remembering… and then doing. It’s twice so far this week I’m being pointed to John 12. (Last week– it was three times hearing the phrase “abide in me” on three different occasions, from three different sources).

The truth is that I’m in awe of this God who loves me enough to not let me go so easily, that He’ll even use blogging strangers if need be to get His message through to me. {Here’s where I pluck petals: He loves me, He loves me, He loves me…} For whatever reason (and I’ll take it!!), He’s going easy on me and just giving me the message multiples times, because the lesson could be more difficult. (Now please– dear readers– before anyone  thinks He’s always this way with me, let me share that I can’t count how many times I’ve needed to be smacked hard in the heart with truth.) So — this is a gentle reminder– and I’m embracing it!

Now, for “part two”, of this little story.

I was pondering this little plant, where I plucked it off  a grocery store shelf, which before that likely came from a greenhouse. Pondering this: Is this little hyacinth speaking more powerfully when others can enjoy its aromatic existence? when it speaks in a mystery of language on a counter in a home, spreading its perfume and simply being what it is– a picture of delicate beauty– to those who walk by admiring and wondering? Does the message of the flower spread further where those created in His image can also bear witness to its praise? This question reminds me of the following:

14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.   –Matthew 5:14-16

But it also reminds me of this…

Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  –Luke 12:27

And finally this:

All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.   –Isaiah 40:6

We have something in common with the flowers– a fading glory, here for a moment, then gone. Unlike the flowers, however, we do toil and spin, even though Jesus tells us we need not worry:

Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. –Matthew 12:22-23

As beautiful living things emerge from the ground this season, I am reminded by the hyacinth, that I need not worry about tomorrow or what I shall wear or eat; that the flowers are dressed more beautifully than King Solomon ever was, and like the flowers, I possess a fading glory. And, Jesus says that a light ought not to be hidden.

And also this, since I was reminded ever so gently, about Sunday’s message: Is my life, is your life, our lives, being spilled and poured over Jesus’ feet, like a fragrant aroma? An aroma that will spread and touch those around? How  smell can spread quickly in a room… and how much one life can touch another’s and make a difference? How our lives given to Jesus are like that perfume, and how He can take lives and use them and spread His glory?

That’s quite a sermon from one little plant… so much in this little message. God will use anything at His disposal to get through to me, plants, bloggers, you name it. {thank you, God}… (Just wondering, how He’s been speaking to you, dear readers out there).

It’ll do me good to remember all these things, especially since I’m being hit with the same message multiple times. God is preparing me and teaching me. It is not only a message for my daily living, but also heart preparation, since I do not know what the future holds, and these messages will sustain me. It’s in this quiet learning and the daily practice, that roots grow deeper. The challenge for me is connecting the dots among: hearing–0–remembering–o–doing.

I do know this– that this Easter is different. I’m reading some devotions on Lent and Easter, something I’ve never done as far as I can remember. I’m learning more, going deeper, into Easter. I’m planning a Messianic Seder/Passover night. And I’m loving all of it. Why have I not done this before?

On the lighter side, I’d love to find more little dots of grace, practical little things, to add a touch of beauty to life. And although the flower was not just a thing of beauty, but also taught me a lesson, these little graces don’t always need to have a lesson attached (although one never knows if a message will come out of them…!)

Touches of beauty… they fill the soul… and don’t we all need that? It’s the simple things that often add much, don’t they?

Moving toward Easter, sharing with Ann and friends at A Holy Experience: