Now that we are back in Ohio, I have resumed my morning walks in Char-Mar Ridge Park. Recently, as I was walking, I smelled an intense fragrance and smiled. The honeysuckle is back in bloom.
I may be allergic to most plants, but I love the smell of honeysuckle. I’m still allergic to it, but as long as I just smell it and don’t roll around in it, I’m fine. As long as I take my allergy medicine. Which I take every day unless there is snow on the ground.
One section of the Char-Mar Ridge trail has towering honeysuckle bushes on either side. I can smell it long before I reach it. When I get to Honeysuckle Lane (my name for it) I always stop and inhale deeply. The fragrance is so lovely, like the smell of summer in the air. Today, as I was passing through, I had to stop and thank God for his extravagant, exuberant love for us. But you may wonder, how does honeysuckle demonstrate God’s abundant love?
These honeysuckle bushes, growing wild along a path in a woods, fill the entire woods with their fragrance. Tom has watched me catch the scent of the honeysuckle and then look around to find the bush or vine. The scent goes beyond the beauty of the blossoms and it only lasts as long as the blossoms are on the bushes. By the end of June, the scent will be gone for another year. The scent goes beyond what it needs to. There are so many flowers with milder, less obtrusive scents that are easily overlooked. But you can’t ignore honeysuckle – it overwhelms and overpowers.
If God can go overboard in creating honeysuckle – make it so much more than it needs to be – how can anyone claim that God doesn’t care for them? Everywhere we look, we see God’s abundant and overwhelming love. We can smell his love for us in the air! And God always gives us more than enough. More than enough love. More than enough to see, smell, taste, feel, hear. His creation doesn’t just whisper his love – the cacophony of creation shouts it so that all of us notice it.
The birdsong that wakes us in the morning. The millions of shades of green that envelop us in the spring. The ripe juiciness of that first garden tomato bursting in our taste buds. The warm softness of a beloved pet’s fur against our fingers. The fragrance of the honeysuckle that we can smell even before we see the beautiful blossoms. God gives us so much more and surrounds us with it every day. Are we paying attention?
What have you seen that delights you and reminds you of God’s love? May we notice – and remember – all the ways God loves us.
30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:30-33