Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Aroma of Life to Life

FALLn flower by ViaMoi

Once she hid, alone
Guarding a dead husk,
Hoping it still lived.
Precious, it was,
And the only one
She would ever have.

It did not respond
To her touch
Or anyone else's.
Deep inside she knew
It had no breath.
But if she admitted
That it had none,
Then she would have to admit
That neither did she.

You see
It was
Her soul.

It rattled, dryly scraping
In the slightest breeze
And she hoped those were sounds
Of life.
But the truth was a terror
Which haunted her dreams.

One more wound,
One more grief,
One more betrayal,
One more lie,
And the tiny spark of life
If there was one
Would surely ebb away.
She would become a zombie
The walking dead.

The image awakened her in a cold sweat
Night after night.

How can
A dead
Soul live?

She had no close friends.
Even her family
Was kept at bay
By her smiles which lied.
She was okay
Or at least she would be
If everyone would just
Leave her alone
To stare at her husk
And convince herself
That it lived.

People make demands.
They drain you.
I'd love to have something to give
But I only have this husk
And I will die without it.
Better to live here, alone
Than to let anyone take it from me.

A dead
Soul's better
Than none.

But there was an aroma
A scent
Which sometimes drifted into
Her loneliness
And when she smelled it
She wept
For joy.

But it didn't happen often.
What can dry husks savor?

Most of the time
Rage simmered
Against any and all
Who even dared to want
Much less need
Anything from her.

You're trying to kill me.
You will use me up
Until there's nothing left.

Then He came.

She knew He was behind
Everything that happened
In the universe He'd made.
So she hated Him
Most of all.

And yet
He brought
That scent

And on one dark night
He did the unthinkable.
He picked up the husk
And showed it to her
Forced her to see it
For what it was
For the very first time.

Ugly rot
Decaying stench
Lifeless corpse.

It lay in His hand.
A scarred hand.
And she knew she was helpless
Against Him.
He could close His fist
And it would be crushed

And yet
Her fear
Met love.

Her gaze, for once
Forsook its idol
And moved upwards
To see His face.
Pounding heart
In mortal peril
Yet felt calmed.

Though He slay me
Yet will I trust Him.

How could
She feel
This way?

She knew before she looked.
The husk lived.
She lived.
The perfume infused a soul
Which once could not draw breath.

Every whiff I sensed before
Was a miracle from His hand
I should not have been able to smell it
But He knew I needed to.

All those years
When she had thought she was
The guardian of her soul
It had been Him
All along.

Tender One
Living Water
Reviving Breath

She is safe.

Life still hurts.
But she has no more dreams
Of zombies.

Life still hurts.
But she no longer
Craves her solitude.
At least not all the time.

Life still hurts.
But life is sweet
Because she knows
How it feels to be
Without it.

Life still hurts.
But no one can take it from her
Because it rests in the hands
Of the One who will someday
Take all the hurt away.

Life still hurts.
But love grows
Where fear no longer reigns.
And it especially grows
When it senses that aroma
From the souls of others.

Precious, beloved others
Even those she's never met
Still move her heart because
They share His life.

Life still hurts.
But those who bear
His aroma
Touch her with it
And she knows
A foretaste
Of healing.

Even some of those who were
Her family by flesh and blood alone
Are now her family in the Spirit, too.
And there is joy
Even when there's heartache.

The perfume wafts
From petals crushed.
The Rose of Sharon
The Lilly of the Valley
For love's sake
Bruised for her.

For you.

Can you
Smell it
As well?

Rose_at_University_of_the_Pacific by Taylor J. Skinner


Copyright Betsy Markman, 2009


Yvonne said...


Beautiful...wonderful words and emotions...absolutely beautiful!

Thank you for sharing this with us.


David Porter said...


I can smell it. It is indeed beautiful. Thank you for sharing this.

I am a new visitor, referred by Laurie M @ "Beauty from Ashes".

Sharlyn Guthrie said...

You engaged all my senses and vividly communicated what Jesus did for you. Wonderful testimony!

AnooCre8ion said...

Lovely poem. I experienced it all the way. Great job.

Thanks for sharing it.


Avalon said...

Oh... that made me cry. It brought me back to that moment - that moment when time stopped in my life and I saw Him in His agony on the cross. For me. And I saw His love for me, for the first time. I saw that He understands my pain and He cares. I saw that He came to carry my pain for me. And I broke. Curled up in a little ball and sobbed. And I finally relented and said, "Okay, you can have me." After a lifetime of running from him, I gave in and accepted His tender love. It is life eternal. I'll never forget that moment. Thank you for writing this, Betsy. Beautiful. Wow. Thank you.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

A weaving of a life meant for the hands of God.

This is the message of Easter.

So glad for your bloom, Betsy. You've added salt and light and fragrance to my world. Thank you for allowing yourself to open up via the hands and heart of God.


Slowly Dying.. said...

Awesome description! This is great, I really like it and feel a connection. Thank you.


Sherri Ward said...

Excellent, Betsy! Very real words.

LauraLee Shaw said...

Oh Betsy, what a gift God has given you, dear Sister. Wow. This took my breath away. It is anointed, filled with amazing depth and insight. So glad the Lord led me over here this evening.

karin said...

Deeply meaningful and very touching. Straight from your heart! Beautiful!

Ed said...

"And yet her fear met love..." Just awesome. Thanks again Betsy.

Kristin said...

I love that! Absolutely beautiful words.

Abigail Kraft said...

Amazing description of the beautiful transition from death to life in the Savior's hands! I loved it!

Thanks for joining in! I hope to hear more from you in future months! :)

In His arms,

Jared Kraft said...

Flat awesome. I love the metaphorical weight and honesty of your prose. So relatable!
Thanks a million for writing something so moving.

Oksana said...

I think that every Christian in the world can relate to this. You've captured the essense of salvation -- thank you for the beautiful reminder of what it means to be God's.

Linda said...

These words formed a perfect picture for me of the empty and lifeless creatures we are without God.

It brought me to the end with great thankfulness for what He has done for me.

New life in Christ is so wonderful!

Thanks for sharing this very profound writing.


Anonymous said...

Betsy, remember the song, "Killing Me Softly with His Song?"

Your poem made me feel as though someone had "found my letters and read them all out loud."

It's my story, too, but I could never, never have expressed it so exquisitely.

I copied and pasted it in an email to my sisters because I was afraid they might not follow a link. (But I did include a link in my email.)

Hope you don't mind.

Thank you.


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