As the preacher stood before the congregation, he began to bare his soul as he told about his youngest daughter. He started his story by telling how he and his wife had three children.
The oldest grew up to be a preacher and the middle child married a preacher. But his story centered on their youngest daughter. He told how that she had been raised in church, gave her life to Jesus at an early age, and how that she had become a very accomplished Southern Gospel Singer.
In fact, when it came time for her to go to college, she chose a college where she could major in music, thus enhancing her ability to sing for Jesus.
She had been away at college for less than a year when he received a call from her. “Dad,” she said. “I wanted you to hear this coming from me. I have made some new friends here at college and we have formed a rock and roll band. We’re good enough that we have signed a contract with a recording company and we’re going to tour the United States playing our music.” Quite naturally, he and his wife were heartbroken.
He continued his story by telling how that for about a year he would look on the band’s website each week to see where they were playing. Sadly, they were playing every dive and hellhole they could find across the United States. Heartbroken, he never ceased to pray for his baby child.
Because she was the baby child, when she left for college they left her bedroom setup as it was when she left. He went on to tell how that at least once a day, his wife would walk into her daughter’s bedroom, prostrate herself across the bed, bury her head in the pillow, and would sob and cry out in intercessory prayer for her wayward child.
One day their daughter came home to visit. That night she walked into her bedroom to go to bed. Shortly thereafter, she walked back into the living room where her parents were.
With somewhat of a bewildered look on her face she asked, “Mom, you’ve been praying for me, haven’t you?” The mother replied, “Yes baby, I have. How did you know?” She said, “Because the fragrance of your perfume has permeated my bed.”
A couple of weeks later the father received another call from his daughter. This time she said, “Dad, I quit the band. I want to know if I can come home.” And with much rejoicing he told her, “Yes!”
As I thought about his story, two Biblical stories came to my mind. First, I thought about the Woman with the Alabaster Box of expensive perfume. Just days before Jesus’ crucifixion, in an act of pure worship, she broke the box and poured the perfume on His head.
I believe the rapid-fire sequence of events leading to His crucifixion started unfolding before He would have bathed. Imagine if you will, from that moment forward, everywhere Jesus went, whether standing before governmental officials, religious leaders, guards, etc…, the fragrance this woman poured on Him, permeated everything. Secondly, I thought about the Prodigal Son.
And while the Bible doesn’t say it, I couldn’t help but wonder if when the events of his homecoming subsided and he went to bed, if he discovered his father’s fragrance permeating his bed.
Who is it that needs the fragrance of your prayers permeating their life? Whoever it is, I encourage you to do as the preacher and his wife and not give up on them. If you won’t give up, I believe one day you too will hear, “You’ve been praying for me, haven’t you? I knew it because your fragrance has permeated my life! Can I come home?”