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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Concentration (07/24/08)

TITLE: Little Miss Frugal's Perfume
By Debbie Roome
07/31/08


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The fragrance lingers as it has done for weeks. I run my fingers across the stains, the drip marks where the perfume ran in viscous rivulets, dribbling across the wooden surface before soaking into deep-piled carpet.

Julian gave me the perfume for Christmas. “It’s got a high concentration of oil.” he explained. “You won’t have to use much as a little will go a long way.” He didn’t have to worry on that score. I was known as Little Miss Frugal, tight with everything.

I loved that perfume, the way it glowed like liquid amber in a shell of pure glass. I loved the contours of the cap, the smooth honeyed wood with chocolate grain. Most days, I would lift it from the shelf and cradle it to my chest, allowing a hint of fragrance to escape. That’s all it was; just a hint of the full bodied bouquet within.

On special days, I would unscrew the cap fully, inhale the sweetness and place a tiny dab on each wrist. It was enough for me to catch the scent; a mingling of sandalwood, jasmine and jonquil. “Put more on.” Julian would complain. “I want to enjoy it too.”

The accident happened one morning in spring. As I lifted the bottle to the shelf, it slipped from my fingers, tumbling like a falling star to shatter on the dressing table. My heart shattered with it. How could I have been so clumsy, so careless? I tried to catch the liquid but it was too late. The surroundings absorbed it like a sponge.

When Julian arrived home that night, he paused in the doorway and took a deep breath. “You smell wonderful.” As I’d mopped up the mess, the perfume permeated everything; my clothes my skin, my hair, and from me, had spread throughout the house.

Julian wiped away my tears and pulled out his Bible. “It may seem an extravagant waste but listen to this verse from John 12:3. ‘Mary took a pound of ointment of pure liquid nard, a rare perfume that was very expensive, and she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped them with her hair. And the whole house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.’” He pulled me into his arms. “Enjoy the perfume while you can and let God teach you through this.”

I took comfort from his words and revelled in the fragrance that saturated my home. When sun rays drenched the bedroom, the warmth released fresh waves of sandalwood, jasmine and jonquil. It was on one of those days that God began to speak to me. My love is like that perfume, He whispered in my soul. It’s pure, concentrated and warm.

I liked the parallel; the thought of God’s love being undiluted and strong. I didn’t like what God told me next. Remember how frugal you were with the perfume? It’s the same with my love. I’ve placed a deposit of love in you but you keep it to yourself. Every so often, you allow a hint to show, but then you lock it away again.

I pondered that for several days and then God spoke once more. You need to break the shell of selfishness and release my love. Release that concentration of perfume so my fragrance will touch those you come in contact with.

It took a determined decision to shatter the glass of selfishness, but little by little, God’s love has started to flow from deep within. I see the effects in those around me as I spread His love, mercy and patience. I see hope springing up as I release His grace, peace and joy.

It’s not always easy, but I have a tangible reminder of how God’s love works. I understand how it rubs off on people and fills a home with perfume.

The fragrance lingers as it has done for weeks. I run my fingers across the stains, the drip marks where the perfume ran in viscous rivulets, dribbling across the wooden surface before soaking into deep-piled carpet.

Concentrated perfume.

Concentrated love.

*****

Bible quotation from The Amplified Bible


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This article has been read 843 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Gregory Kane08/01/08
Vivid imagery and a very clear application. Well done.
Yvonne Blake 08/02/08
Ohhh..I love this. The lesson is so good. God does things like that to teach us lessons, doesn't He?
Thank you for writing this.
Linda Payne08/04/08
This piece really spoke to me because too often I am stingy, also. Loved your descriptions. I could almost smell the perfume.
Lynda Schultz 08/04/08
What a wonderful way to teach an important lesson. I usually save the perfume until it evaporates right inside the bottle! Well done.
Sharlyn Guthrie08/04/08
I love the application you've made, conmparing the concentrated perfume to God's love. Excellent!
Holly Westefeld08/05/08
This was a lovely and creative application of the topic.
Karen Wilber 08/05/08
I really like your definition and angle on the theme topic this week. Terrific story and lesson for all of us.
Lyn Churchyard08/06/08
Well written analogy of God's love, so rich and full. My children brought me a bottle of concentrated perfume from Egypt. I'll remember your story and the application every time I use it now. Great job, wonderful devotional Debbie, thank you.
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/06/08
I love this wonderful devotional piece with such an important lesson shown.
Glynis Becker 08/07/08
Ouch! That one hit home. What a wonderful illustration of the topic!Thank you so much for sharing it.