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  • Sarah Raad

Lavender

God loves us and He wants us and we can give Him joy through our offerings to Him!

The Sacrifice of Abraham (Rembrandt)

I love lavender.


Not only do I think that they are beautiful flowers – with their gorgeous purple and pink and white tones, but they smell wonderful, draw the bees for gorgeous pollination of the garden propagating the joy…


Some varieties of lavender are even edible. And in any case, lavender has a very soothing fragrance. In fact, lavender is a fragrance that many people use to help them to relax and go to sleep. And so, I see lavender as a beautifully restful flower.


But for me, probably the most glorious thing about lavender, is that it has been very difficult for me to kill it! After all, lavender is a relatively hardy plant! I do not make this observation based on any scientific or horticultural fact, but on the mere reality of the survival of several large lavender bushes outside the front of my home over several years. And frankly, any plant that can survive my careless ministrations, is surely a hardy plant.


My children know how much I love lavender, and so – in the early morning before the bees are up – they often run outside and collect a few flowers to put up on our altar that we keep at home in our kitchen. Usually, I find the flowers are up there without my even knowing who put them there….


After all, my children are still very young, and for them, if their mother loves lavender, it surely means that ALL mothers – including Our Blessed Mother – must love lavender as well.


I love watching the messiness of lavender in the garden or in a vase. Lavender is not the sort of plant that looks all neat and tidy – it is sort of messy and wildly free – and there is a beauty in that freedom that I see there…


The other day when I was cleaning up the house, I noticed a couple of dried out lavender flowers on the Altar in the kitchen that needed to be disposed of. They were dried out and a faded purple colour and they smelled as fragrant right there on the altar as they had done when they had been on the bush a few weeks earlier.


And as I cleaned up those flowers that day, I started thinking my children’s simple offerings to Our Lady and for Her Blessed Son…

You see – though they are little and their offering is small – my children’s offerings are the sorts of offerings that I should be making to God…

You see, those children found something that they know that I like, and they did their best to provide it to their Blessed Mother too, because they wanted to please her.


They love Her – as they love me. And as I realised this truth, it occurred to me that this is my job in this world as a mother… To be the person who my children can love and who can love them in return, so that they learn how to love their Blessed Mother. That is what my mother taught to me, and it is a lesson that is passed on for all the generations from one mother to the next…


And the offerings that we make should be offerings of love. For no matter how small and no matter how weak we are and no matter how paltry our offerings, how they must warm Our Heavenly Father’s Holy Heart as that lavender on the altar warms mine.


Because, though we are not called to the greatness of BIG sacrifice - like that asked of Abraham and of his son Isaac, we are all called to love. And love requires offering. Without a sacrifice love cannot exist!


For He loves us and He wants us, and how much joy there is for us to give back to Him in what we offer to Him through that!


For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.


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