Lavender and Vinegar

by Debra Dian

Bobbin and Robbin fluttered around in their cage, excited to see Eunice cleaning the windows in the sun room; to the parakeets a hopeful sign of temporary freedom from their cage. Not that they were discontented with their cozy, oversized, vintage cage, but they enjoyed exercising their wings while exploring the sun room.

“Settle down Bobbin and Robbin,” Eunice cooed. “Cleaning windows today. I’ll clean your cage another day.”

Eunice carefully climbed the ladder to reach the top of the window. Enthusiastically she cleaned the dusty windows, anticipating glorious, sparkling sunlight spilling through; providing more light to the plants, the parakeets and when reading. She sprayed her own special recipe of cleaner, lavender and vinegar, and then wiped the window clean with a paper towel.

In the sun room pots of lavender grow along with other herbal plants such as basil, rosemary, thyme and mint. She had harvested the lavender several weeks ago in order to prepare the vinegar cleaner. Of course, plain vinegar is fine to use as a window cleaner, but sour. Yet with the lavender fragrance, it is so much more lovely and pleasant.

As she sprayed and wiped she thought about her friend Lois, sending up quick prayers to God on her behalf; prayers for healing, good sleep and strength.  Eunice had gone with Lois to her chemotherapy treatment, just to sit beside her and comfort her. And while Eunice crocheted she prayed.

She remembered the lady who had been next to them, who was also getting her chemotherapy. Rhona was her name. Eunice had reached out to her and in the course of their conversation it was evident that Rhona had become very bitter over having cancer. Eunice had asked Rhona about her faith in the Savior.

Eunice was still in shock over how Rhona had remarked with a sour face and an angry voice, “Yes, Jesus has saved me for heaven, but letting me die with cancer–and this chemo–I’m literally sick of it.”

Eunice had mentally noted the different responses. Rhona’s attitude had left an air of discouragement, a lingering disheartenment for those nearby. Compared to Lois, with her thankfulness, sense of humor, and gracious praise and trust in God.

Eunice smiled to herself remembering when Lois tried to distract herself from the pain by humming part of a hymn. “Eunice do you know this hymn?” she had asked.

Eunice had acknowledged knowing the hymn and then quietly they sang it together. 

Remembering that moment inspired Eunice to quietly sing the same hymn again to God in her heart.

Tears of joy came to the corner of her eyes. Lois, my friend, what a sweet fragrance you are.

“For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life…And thanks be to God…Death has been swallowed up in victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

2Corinthians 2:15-16; 1Corinthians 15:54, 57

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This story is a fictionalization. Any mention of historical events, people and places are used fictitiously and any likeness to actual events, places or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

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