Years ago, I had a dream.
Some people may call it a vision.
Dream or vision, it doesn’t matter to me. It was a beautiful picture in my mind that I bring back and look at lovingingly and tearfully.
I don’t know how old I was or the circumstances that surrounded it, but I close my eyes and I am taken back to that time and place in an instant.
I found myself in a vault like prison.
There was no beauty at all.
I walked down the dim hallway and turned right. Two wide stone slabs stepped me down into a rectangle room. A feeling of dread and hopelessness walked with me and I felt my heart constricting in my chest.
A window with bars filtered in meager sunlight that slanted across the bare cold floor. And there, kneeling in that one shaft of dim light, was a man kneeling.
White robed and serene, he was totally still. In fact, he appeared to be a statue. The sun slanted in on his shoulders as he faced the blankness in front of him .
I took a step closer and saw a lily of the valley clasped in his hands, folded in prayer. White and delicate with vibrant green leaves, it was a spot of serene beauty in the muddied grey of that cold tomb.
He didn’t say a word. But in the from lighting, his eyes shone with so much love, that I began to weep. Tears poured down my face as I stood there, soaking in the peaceful lily and the eyes.
The eyes broke me. They seemed to reach in and draw me compellingly and I found myself lost in their love.
I wept gut wrenching sobs that erupted from places I didn’t even know existed. That cold grey room became sacred ground.
I woke and my body felt weak from crying and I lay there, wondering what it meant and feeling strangely cleansed and freed.
I wondered what awful darkness lay ahead of me in life, and I shuddered a bit, because that prison was so hopeless. so cold. So ALONE. It was so morbid that I looked the other way.
All through the years, I have hung onto the eyes. The eyes that drew me in and wrapped me up and loved me. The eyes that I knew would never ever leave me. So compassionate. So understanding. So welcoming. And so uncondeming.
There is a beautiful verse in Psalm 32 that follows me as well..
“I will guide Thee with mine eye.”
Fear has to leave when we gaze into that kind of love. Shootings, illness, death and even hard decisions cannot escape that kind of love. It’s the kind that never lets you go. Even on the darkest days. Even when your facing the hardest situation of your life and it takes your breath away.
Those eyes guide you. They are constant. They carry you. You are never ever for one moment truly ALONE.
You can imagine my delight when my husband brought home a gorgeous bouquet of lilies for Valentines Day this year.
Lily of the valley has the flower meaning of humility, chastity, sweetness, and purity. It also means “the return of happiness.”
Sometimes I don’t realize the significance of something until its right in front of me. This was one of those times.
Roses are sweet and lovely and some people feel a deep happiness when they receive a bouquet. They are the flower of love. I get that
But lilies? They touch me in a way roses cannot. I feel real and connected and deep. Fresh and hopeful and constant.
My heart thrills a bit every time I look at them. I feel a oneness with them. Out of the box unaffected.
Wildly unsymentical and free from cultivation. Reaching for sunlight in exotic unpredicatable patterns. Flourishing and heart wide open and laden with the scent of pureness.
That’s the kind of woman I want to be. And that’s what the lily means to me.