I sat there sobbing. It was the perfect storm of swirling emotions. I had received the text message that broke the news while sitting in my car at a rest area during a long trip south. My emotions flip-flopped between disappointment, exhaustion, and a sense of betrayal faster than a tornado rips through a town.
The strong winds of having made the wrong choice and letting someone down whom I loved left no corner of my emotional house untouched. The tears just flowed. And flowed. And flowed.
Since I was alone, I had the luxury of not holding back. No silent tears were these. Instead, my shoulders heaved with each sob. I felt the car rocking in response to my raw emotion.
I couldn’t believe this had happened. I felt so let down. So angry. So confused. So totally beside myself. Plus, the only two options at my disposal each had sizable drawbacks. I broke out sobbing again. “God, How...? Why...did this happen? What should I do?”
Thirty or forty minutes into this, my nose perceived something. I caught a whiff ofperfume. Perfume? I was alone and I never wore perfume. Well, almost never. I don’t wear it when I teach because of individuals sensitive to chemicals. For the same reason I don’t find perfume a wise choice at parties or other gatherings. In the summer it attracts bugs. I just don’t often wear perfume.
But today, today for some reason, I had opened the bottle of my favorite perfume and sprayed a bit on my wrists. Next I rubbed a bit on my temples then removed excess perfume with a Kleenex so it wouldn’t be too strong.
The effect was so subtle I had totally forgotten I had any on at all. Until now. And the fragrance triggered a remembrance. Or more precisely, it triggered that I was remembered...
The effect was so subtle I had totally forgotten I had any on at all. Until now. And the fragrance triggered a remembrance. Or more precisely, it triggered that I was remembered...and not just by anyone. I was remembered by God. I recalled a verse in the Bible that likened our prayers to perfume that wafts under the Almighty’s face. I could count on the fact that that Father saw my distress and wanted to comfort me.
In between my sobs, which were slowing because of exhaustion, I realized I was not alone. God had gone before me, and foreseen this day. He knew my world, when my days sailed and when they crashed. I did not have to go through this alone. I would and could get through it. I bowed my head and worshiped.
It seems strange to write that one of the most memorable days I have every worshiped, was the day of disappointment I worshiped at the mile-marker 174 rest area on the Garden State Parkway. But my prayer that day was worship. And God heard me and revived me.
Revelation 5: 7-9 “And (the Lamb) came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song...”