They say that once a piece of common clay
Such fragrance breathed as from a garden blows;
'My secret is but this,' they heard it say,
'I have been near the rose.'
And those there are who bear along with them
The power with thoughts of Christ men's hearts to stir;
For having knelt to kiss His garment's hem,
Their garments smell of myrrh.
So grant, I pray Thee, Lord, that by Thy grace
The fragrance of Thy life may dwell in me;
That as I move about from place to place,
Men's thoughts may turn to Thee.
(Ps. 45. 8; 2 Cor. 2. 14, 15).
Dr. F. W. Boreham tells of a visit to a town in the South of France. A number of women passed him, evidently going to their homes from their factory or place of occupation; and, as they passed, he noticed that their garments were fragrant. The reason, he ascertained, was that they were engaged in preparing scent from flowers, and it had distilled on their clothes. Those enjoying Christ's presence and engaged in presenting Him to others cannot but transmit His fragrance.
(Hos. 14. 6; 2 Cor. 2. 14, 15).
A Persian fable says-One day
A wanderer found a piece of clay
So redolent of sweet perfume
Its odor scented all the room.
`What art thou?' was the quick demand:
`Art thou some gem of Samarcand
Or spikenard rare in rich disguise?
Or other costly merchandise?'
Nay, I am but a piece of clay.'
'Then, whence this wondrous sweetness, pray?'
'Friend, if the secret I disclose,
I have been living with the rose.'
(Song of Songs 2. 1; 2 Cor. 3. 18).
She brought her gift of worship to adorn
The One she loved, and poured it on His brow—
That brow so soon to feel the platted thorn,
The mockery of those who came to bow.
She brought her gift of service freely there
And poured it out upon the Savior's feet—
Those feet that had the piercing nails to bear,
The journey to the cross—God's Mercy Seat.
And when the women came with burial token
That dawn, she was not there among the rest.
The alabaster box already broken,
She had anointed Him and given her best:
The fragrance of her gift that filled the room
Had reached beyond the cross, beyond the tomb.—Ruth Gibbs Zwall
(Song of Songs 1. 12; John 12. 3, 7; Luke 24. 1-10).
The scent of precious ointment—how it lingered
Long after all the guests had gone away;
And Mary's hands, how sweet where she had touched it,
The alabaster box she brought that day.
It filled the empty room with love's anointing,
Reached to the neighbors on the busy street
And ministered in many deeds of kindness
To friend and stranger whom she chanced to meet.
In every task she found the fragrance with her—
The pitcher that she carried bore the scent,
The coins exchanged for food within the market—
She took the blessing everywhere she went.
The box, unbroken, could have kept its treasure
And pleased the fancy of a dinner guest;
But Mary broke the box, and in the breaking.
Her Lord, and all the world beside, were blest.—Ruth Gibbs Zwall
(John 12. 3-5; 2 Cor. 4. 7).
My garden has roses red,
My garden has roses white,
But if, when the day is sped,
I stand by the gate at night,
One fragrance comes when the day is sped
From my roses white and my roses red.
The roses of joy are red,
The roses of pain are white.
But I think, when the day is sped,
And I stand by the gate at night,
I shall just know this, when the day is dead,
That a rose is sweet, be it white or red.—Percy Ainsworth
(2 Cor. 6. 10)