From the Pastor’s Desk: Rev. Raphael Chow
As an everlasting theme among poets and scholars, lily has been known as The Fairy of Charming Gown. Yan Chen, a Song dynasty poet, once wrote the following tribute to lily,
Mountain Flowers Enlightened by the Sunset,
Diffusing fragrances, Albeit short of Nurturing.
With A Gentle Breeze from the Forest Tip,
The Scent of the Lily is Blown around the World!
There are numerous lily species, ranging from about a foot to towering 6 feet tall. Their petals vary from oval shape to slender contour, some are single stem while others are multiple! Some flowers upturn gazing the sky, yet some droop towards the ground. Among the 120 odd species that have been identified, every single one of them is elegant and noble, bearing sparkling and graceful flowers, with verdant leaves. Their stems are upright and undiluted, with flowers of abundant hues. There is the white Easter Lily normally seen around Easter. There are the yellow Bell Lily (Lilium Euxathum), the Sacred Blue Lily, the red Pine Lily (lilium catesbaei), and the spotted-petal Tiger Lily (Lilium lancifolium), etc. The most enchanted one would undeniably be the black pearl lily, with dark purple petals, gleaming leaves and buttery shade core. At just one glance, you would have to stop and stay!
In addition to being elegant, lily is also sweet smelling (though there are scentless species)! No wonder we heard couplet like
“ Deep in the Night, House Saturated with Aroma,
Appearing to be Awakened from Drunk!”
Once, I passed by a lily bouquet in a shadowed room, I was attracted to its lush smell instantly. I was intoxicated by that aroma for a good few minutes, reviving my mind and soul! Another time I sensed traces of fragrances while walking in the rural area. Passing by a babbling brook and a shallow shoal, with sparse saplings and dense weeds or thorns around, I spotted a cobalt blossom in the distance. The closer I got, the more intense was the fragrance. I finally caught a glimpse of over 100 tall lilies after a turn of the path. Pastel blue, joined up with pale purple and matched with golden stamen, you will just get inebriated without the breezes, the music and even the delightful bird songs! These wild lilies just stood there without being humble or overbearing, asking people to enjoy and appreciate them. You only needed to experience one episode to have this unforgettable feeling of being fully blessed.
Paul talked about “the pleasing aroma” in 2 Corinthians 2:15, which might be the aroma of sacrifice to God. Yet the aroma in 2:14 might be the scent of sweet balm. Though unable to confirm, we might still try to relate it to the sweet fragrance of the lily. In any case, when we get among people, would people be able to experience this sensation of being amidst the lily bush? Though there are thorns around, people can still get revived. When we get among our fellow brothers and sisters, would they feel like amid blooming lilies, yearning for elegance and purity with this drowning fragrance!
“(He is) The Lily of the Valley and in Him alone I See,
All I Need to Cleanse and Make me Fully Whole.
In Sorrow He’s my Comfort, in Trouble He’s my Stay,
He Tells me Every Care on Him to Roll …”
May our lives carry the fragrance of the Lord always, as the lily of the valley!