Johanna took her small daughter Mary to her dear friend Lucy. As Mary saw a beautiful perfume bottle, she left her mother and went towards the bottle. The mother tried to stop her daughter for fear of breaking the perfume bottle. Lucy quickly held the bottle in her hand and proudly said that her husband brought her this bottle last summer from Paris on the anniversary of their marriage.
Johanna did not give the matter any importance, but Lucy asked her, "Do you know its make?"
"No." said Johanna.
Lucy said, "It’s the most famous perfume in the world. It costs so much.”
Johanna was surprised to know its price.
"This was its price without tax because he bought it from the free shop in Paris airport", said Lucy.
"How could he pay such a price?"
"It’s his love and appreciation for me."
"May I smell the perfume?"
"I’m sorry that the bottle is completely empty. I kept the bottle by itself."
Lucy noticed that Johanna tried to hide her sighing. She asked Johanna, "Did it bother you that this perfume was bought with such a high price and all the perfume was used, leaving the empty beautiful bottle by itself?"
"No Lucy, you deserve better than this perfume. What bothers me is my fear that I’m like this beautiful empty bottle which has no smell. It’s true that I carry the name of Christ, I’ve learned many of the Biblical verses and I practice many of the spiritual worship, but I ask myself, ‘Do I carry the pure perfume of Christ?’ The perfume of this world is used and is consumed, but the pure perfume of Christ when used, increases inside us as well as outside us."
The conversation changed from the talk about the perfume of this world to the amazing perfume of Christ. At the end of the visit, Johanna stood up to pray saying,
"We thank You Lord because You made us heavenly perfume, so that You’re perfume inside us and also those around us smell it.
Your perfume is never consumed. Rather it spreads and increases.
With every beauty You put in us, grant me to be a beautiful bottle from the outside and empty from the inside so that You may fill my life by Yourself.
You’re the secret of my richness, beauty and sweetness."
Freedom behind the Bars
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