The odor of your ointments is fragrant; your name is like perfume poured out.
(Song of Songs 1:3, Amplified)
I’d like to testify. And hopefully, you’ll hear me out.
Today the Lord allowed me a means of grace that flowed over this humble recipient providing me with evidence that our Savior is indeed sweet. And real. So real, in fact that I was able even to smell Him. I’ve heard of this phenomenon but I believe I was given a gracious opportunity to experience it first-hand. I was spending some time in His Presence, worshipping Him and listening to Him in quietness and love. The reading of scripture was blessedly edifying as He kept revealing more and more of Himself and His nearness in those hours.
Near the end of my reverie, and out of nowhere, this scent filled my nostrils that, for the life of me, I could not quite place. It was captivatingly aromatic and its sweetness was inviting and filled the van—my holy ground place where I meet with Him. I was alone, there were no flowers nearby and while I jerked my head in all directions to find the person who might be wearing that fantastic perfume, I found no one standing near. There was little breeze to speak of that could have carried the scent to me. It just happened. It stayed for several minutes, and it had me asking the atmosphere about me, “Lord, is that You?” “Lord? Are You here?”
I can remember the thoughts that were in my head when I first detected the scent. I was meditating in the Lord’s Prayer of Matthew 6, particularly the line where Christ instructs us to ask for forgiveness as we forgive our debtors. I was reading from Richard Foster’s book and the point he was making (or that was striking me in the moment) is that our forgiving others’ their trespasses releases something in the heavens. I had just jotted that thought in the margin when the aroma filled the van. Now, I am not saying that it could not have come from some flowers around some corner or over some hill (no hill in sight) or even that a breeze could not have borne the scent of someone’s fragrance toward me (tell me what that scent is, I’ll buy it!). These are possible, of course, but somehow I believe that my Lord was making Himself tangibly evident to me in the moment.
Why right then? Could it be that He was marking those thoughts on forgiveness so that I might see where I still needed to forgive? I admit there was some twinge of conviction over that theme. Or, that His forgiveness is ever near to me. (Without stealing his thunder, my son had an experience with just this very grace recently that left Sandy and me blessed to our toes) Today’s been quite a day. A sister whom I called to bless told me, “You sound good today, Pastor.” Indeed. How could I not when the scent of the Savior was like spikenard poured out from Heaven for me!
Or maybe it was just some wildflowers upwind of me. So what?
Doesn’t He have something to do with the lilies of the field too?