Monday, May 12, 2014

When The Lilacs Bloom

       The sense of smell locks memories into place like super glue to the brain. For instance, a whiff of diesel fuel reminds me of traveling by train from the northeast to the west when I was about six years old. Walking out onto the platform to our passenger car I could smell the strong odor of the engines burning, while they waited to be put into gear. To this day that distinctive aroma will whisk me away to the large domed waiting room at the station, and the sound of train whistles blowing their arrival.
        Perhaps, for you, fresh cut grass brings flashes of carefree childhood summers, or the smell of chlorine fun poolside activity.  I would make a bet the smell of coconut infused sunscreen takes everybody directly to the beach. Aah, what a lovely gift the Lord bestowed upon us. Then again, perhaps not, because the sulfur smell at low tide is anything but pleasant.
         Lilacs. Now there is a smell most can appreciate. Its blooms are imbued with such a sweet, haunting fragrance, only God Himself could have created them. Yes, for some it may be too overwhelming an odor, but for most it’s a lovely beginning to summer. It’s disappointing, however, that the blooms only last a few weeks, but obviously that’s how the Lord intended it. Just like sugar, I suppose too much sweetness can be a bad thing.
        The smell of lilacs like many things at this stage in my life, typically take me back to some childhood memory. When they bloom, I am carried off to my grandmother’s yard, and it’s 1965. I am five, my brother is seven, and we are ecstatic as we run and hide beneath the purple colored, ambrosia filled branches. For a child, that’s about as close to heaven as one can get.
         I’d like to imagine the Lord in all of His love for us, would have lilacs blooming in Heaven when we arrive. I can just imagine the “pearly gates” opening up to a beautiful stoned, meandering, walkway lined with every imaginable, or perhaps unimaginable, blooming bush, plant and flower. Of course in Heaven everything, I’m assuming, would be kicked up a few hundred notches. The colors would go beyond our earthly, human spectrum. The fragrances would be like none our noses have ever experienced. Natures music would be as sweeping as a stadium-sized orchestra.  There would be an irrepressible, everlasting presence of beauty, sounds, and smells. Awesome is the only word I can think of to fit this scenario. 
         So, upon Junes arrival, I will indulge in the enjoyable recollection of sweet, summertime memories, and I will relish the notion of Heaven, when the lilacs bloom.

1 Corinthians 2:9  However, as it is written: "what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived - the things God has prepared for those who love him -"

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