Archive for the ‘Lavender’ Category

daisy-in-a-field-of-lavenderI am currently recovering from a terrible bout with the flu and pneumonia and ensuing dehydration that laid me out for a few weeks and from which I am still recovering. During that time, it felt like I was on a journey to some distant, dark region of my soul; at times it felt like my very bed was hell. But the Lord was in the midst of it all with me in such wonderful ways that I would be remiss if I did not give Him glory and public praise for what He did in my heart during this time!

I’ve been sick before, but I’ve never experienced anything like what I went through these past weeks. Maybe it is because I’d never been this sick and all alone before. In the past, there was always someone in the house with me to help me think, check up on me, give me water to drink, get me medicine. This time, there was no one, and I was too weak to figure anything out or think clearly, which is why I ended up so dehydrated. (I did have friends calling from time to time and later in the sickness people began bringing me all kinds of things–but I am talking about the first days of it in which I was still very much unaware of how sick I really was and trying to be tough and telling people I would be fine).

Anyway, the point of this blog is not to talk about how sick I was or get people to feel sorry for me, but instead to share the wonderful ways God met me in my sickness! There was so much more than I can share here, and some of it very personal, but there are a few stories that I think are worth sharing and I hope will encourage you. I can honestly say, He ministered to me so much during these past few weeks, that I wouldn’t trade that time of being sick for anything!

The Stench

Early in my sickness, I went through a period of time in which I was sweating intensely. (Later, I must have been too dehydrated to continue sweating). For days I was in the same clothes, sweating and then drying out and then sweating again. After about 4 days of this, I stunk so bad, I could hardly stand myself, but I was too weak to change clothes or take a shower. What I really wanted was to soak in a hot bath, but my house has no tub. As I lay alone in my bed, in all my stench, feeling like a shell of a human being, I began to think about and pray for all the other people on earth who were also suffering physically, and all alone–even more alone than I was. People who literally had no one to call to help them in time of need. People who were as sick as I was and didn’t even have a bed to lie in, but were out on the hard street. As I considered this, I had a visionary experience I will never forget.

homelessIn my vision, I found myself laying on a piece of cardboard on a filthy sidewalk somewhere in a 3rd world city. I was dressed in my same stinky, damp clothes and was engulfed in the same stench. I was exactly myself. I was not another person…and yet, I was one of them-—those people we all know are out there but somehow can never relate to. The people who haven’t bathed in months or years. The ones who chronically stink, the ones with matted hair and sunken eyes. The ones who dig through dumpsters and city dumps for food and clothing. The ones that somehow get relegated to a sub-human status in the perceptions of the affluent Western World. And in my vision, I was one of them—but only I knew that I was a human being worthy of dignity and respect. I was me–Mercy! And yet, I wasn’t. At least no one else seemed to think so, for people were coming and going on the busy sidewalk but no one seemed to notice me. I was only a stinky, ugly, sick person laying on cardboard on the dirty sidewalk; bones and body aching, thirsty and in pain and liable to infect anyone who came too near.

I could see the feet of people as they passed by–all kinds of feet. High heels, tennis shoes, business shoes, flip flops. Occasionally a cold coin would land on my body or the cardboard–but I never saw the ones who casually flipped the coins my way and nor did I have any use for them because I was too weak to get up and buy anything with them. In this vision, I felt incredible loneliness and began to accept the fact that I must be less a human being than those who walked by me with such strength and purpose. Only a complete loser in life would end up where I was, and yet here I was–a forgotten, overlooked, uncared for, suffering shell of a human being without the tiniest bit of hope.

And then…I felt a cool hand on my burning forehead. Someone was reaching down to me! Someone was touching me, not in fear or revulsion, but in love. I felt strong arms draw me up off my cardboard bed, and hold me close. Gentle hands were smoothing my hair and a sweet old voice began to tell me that everything was going to be OK. And when I opened my eyes, I was looking at Mother Teresa.

mother-theresaShe was looking into my eyes with genuine love and humility. I didn’t feel one trace of condescension in her gaze or her tone, not a trace of pride in her kindness to me. In fact, everything about her demeanor told me that she wasn’t thinking about herself at all, but her thoughts were totally centered on me! Her thoughts were all about my recovery; about bestowing dignity on me and recognizing that I was person worthy of love and care.

And in my vision, this strong lady picked me up as though I was a little child, and carried me back to her center where I was given a bed to lay in and lovingly tended to in such a way that I felt a sense of dignity returning to me. Dignity. Yes, real dignity; that quality that the devil works so hard to destroy in every human being. That quality that we must all be more conscious to give one another, by virtue of the simple fact that every single one of was made in the image of God and loved enough by Jesus that He was willing to lay down His life for us.

Through this experiential vision, the Lord powerfully reminded me of how much that sort of ministry means to Him–how close it is to His heart to care for the powerless, the sick, the forgotten, the rejected, the unlovely, the dying–in a way that doesn’t further strip their dignity, but bestows worth and honor on them. How His heart burned as bright as a city on a hill through His servant Mother Teresa, and shines as an undeniable testimony still. And how those who “are about their Father’s business” in such a manner, great or small, bring such joy to His heart, whether they are lovingly ministering to one or multitudes. For days after this vision, I felt the love and strength in it sustaining me as His lovingkindness washed all through me. (And I was able to get a bath at a friend’s house which also ministered to me much).

The Sweetness

Some days later, after pneumonia had settled into my lungs, I began to have trouble breathing at night and was plagued by coughing and bubbling and gurgling in my lungs that also prevented me from sleeping. Someone had brought me some cough syrup, but it didn’t have an expectorant in it and wasn’t helping at all. I’d tried Nyquil, Dayquil, aspirin, chloraseptic, and now this new cough syrup, and all I had experienced was hallucinations and other bad side effects. In desperation, I went to the internet to look up natural cough suppressant and expectorant remedies. Somehow I made myself a small jar of grated garlic in raw honey, which immediately began to help. And I also discovered the sweetness of lavender oil as a natural cough suppressant. (I was so glad I happened to have a bottle of lavender essential oil in the house with me). If you’ve never tried lavender oil for a cough remedy, let me tell you that it is a miracle worker!

I put on some soothing instrumental worship music and climbed in bed with a bunch of pillows behind my head –and holding the jar of essential oil under my nose, I experienced an amazing and intense time of healing that seemed to wash in and through me—body, soul and spirit. The lavender seemed to embody all the gentle kindness of the Lord as the aroma went deep into my lungs and soothed me from the inside out. I relaxed into what felt like the first true rest I’d had for days. I felt like I was floating in some heavenly place, just breathing in that healing fragrance which seemed so real and alive, compare to all the other so-called medications I had been taking—bottles of unnaturally colored syrups with poison warnings on their labels.

lavender_fieldsI began to think about how God made the lavender with such a wide variety of uses and purposes and how He did it deliberately, with great care and foresight. I saw all the thought He put into the lavender plant and I could feel His love through it as I breathed it deep inside of me. I could feel His delight in the lavender; His very joy as He fashioned it. I began to think of all the healing properties He put in so many plants and foods and how everything He made was good and how much all of it delighted Him. I saw clearly that He didn’t create one plant in an offhand way, but with great care and thought and love. He knew all the things we would need and He put everything right here for us. He put miracle-working properties in everything He made and He did it all for us.

I’ve always sought out and preferred a natural cure to a pharmaceutical drug, but during my “lavender moment” it hit me in a deeper place of my heart than ever before. I saw that to use the medicine He provided was a form of honoring Him and submitting to His wisdom. It was a way of loving Him back, of worshipping Him, of showing Him gratitude and thanksgiving. It was a way of acknowledging His love and wisdom. This all became crystal clear to me as I lay in bed, inhaling the sweet, clean, sun-soaked living scent of the lavender oil. And I saw all the more clearly, how running off to the doctor and taking some man-made drug, some chemical concoction, some dead syrupy slop made in a laboratory was like a slap in the face to God. I understand that sometimes drugs and antibiotics save lives, and I have no condemnation towards those who’ve used them to stay alive. But I also saw all the more clearly how these “medicines” almost always have negative side effects and how they are a poor substitute for the genuine healing power that He has put into the plants.

lavender_field_blur_sharpenAs I lay there, breathing the lavender and falling in love with God all over again, I thought to myself that I never wanted to even spray another chemical perfume on my body. Perfumes are known to contain toxic chemicals and yet I that was one area I never took seriously because I love a nice scent. But as the Lord ministered to me through the lavender oil, I began to feel revulsion in the core of my being at the thought of every spraying a toxic cloud of fragrance over myself again. Why should I, when there are perfectly natural ways to smell nice, through all the fragrant essential oils that people have used for centuries?

Why use anything fake or toxic, when there is something real and healing that could be used in its place? I mean really–WHY? There is no logical sense for it! Sometimes the obvious is just too plain in sight to be seen.

After a night of non-stop breathing the lavender oil and putting it directly on my chest and throat, I noticed that my chest didn’t feel quite as heavy, and that which I was coughing up was lighter in color. The lavender oil was a turning point in my sickness and stopped my fits of coughing better than any other medicine I tried.

Healers versus Drug Pushers

In closing, I’ll say that I had the opportunity to go to a local clinic towards the end of my sickness, in which I waited for 40 minutes past my appointment time, was ushered into a cold room and left alone for another 10 minutes as the lady who performed my initial check-up was called out of the room. Then I was taken to the doctor’s room where I waited another 40 minutes. The slippery, paper covered “bed” was set in such a way that I could not lay down on it and the room was freezing cold to me. There is no way I could have handled it if I had gone in when I was at the height of my sickness. I would have had to lie on the floor while waiting for the doctor.

Anyway, this whole experience has left me more passionate to see real hospitals and real houses of healing being raised up in our country. As a culture, we are in desperate need to connect with the natural healing methods given to us by GOD HIMSELF, and we are in dire need of people who are skilled in such healing methods and can minister them to the sick (body, soul and spirit) with love and dignity and faith and prayer. We are in desperate need to return to eating real foods and drinking real water and getting real sleep…and of course, we are in desperate need, most of all, to connect with GOD and to honor and respect Him by receiving of His ministry and His love in every way that He offers it.

I urge you to educate yourself on how to eat and live healthy according to the healing principles that God has put into creation itself. If you haven’t been to mercola.com, naturalnews.com (and many others), I encourage you to read the sites and sign up for their newsletters. The Internet is FULL of helpful information to help us live healthier lives, just on a natural, physical level. There is no reason for anyone to be ignorant of these matters and to suffer unnecessarily.

Here’s to healing and the restoration of true dignity to each and every one of us.

Here’s to the lovingkindness and thoughtfulness of our God who is past wonder, and worthy of all praise and love and honor; who is worthy of respect and thanksgiving; who is worthy of worship in ALL of our actions!

Yes, here’s to the God who can take a selfish, indifferent person and transform her into someone who walks the dirty streets and is not afraid to hold a leper to her breast or minister grace to a dying man covered in his own stench.

Here’s to fields of lavender, alive in the breeze and sun, sending out a healing fragrance into the world.

Here’s to the coming of the kingdom of heaven; the beautiful principles and precepts and laws of God which always lead to life, which are real and lasting and eternal and can never be overtaken or erased or disregarded or exchanged for something better–because there IS nothing better or higher or truer or purer. Nothing else works. His ways alone lead to life.

Yes, here’s to the kingdom coming to earth from the inside out!   ~Mercy Aiken

mother teresa lonliness


Read Full Post »