The Great Trade

A few years ago I began to learn about and use certain oils. For headaches, to relax, to disinfect my home; there’s an oil for almost anything.

Oils cover everything.

But I learned this the hard way. Early on in my exploration I was at a party feeling like the ultimate wallflower and somehow one of the more distinct smelling oils made its way out of my bag. The story ends with people clearing the room I was in, clearing out of the next room, and eventually going outside. This oil saturated the entire house. Despite becoming the highlight of a joke, I love this image of the smell of the oil rising and curling through every corner of the home, completely covering it. And nothing was able to override the oil. Not the smells of foods, the mixing of people’s own scents…the boldness of the oil was far too great.

I also have an image in my head of The Walking Wounded. They are us, going through life displaying our hurts and wounds and unlove openly for everyone to see. A long bandage around a depression riddled mind, someone leaning on an addictive crutch, faces gaunt and twisted from anger, lust, lies. But we are making a journey to the cross.

Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed before his crucifixion, means “oil press.” He’s there in this garden praying to God and asking if there’s another way. He’s caught between Himself as a man and as our God, but all the while His prayers are preparing Him for what’s about to happen. In Isaiah 53, the language used to describe the marring of Jesus coincides with Gethsemane’s meaning: pressed, crushed, cut. Of course it’s hard to imagine Him on the cross mangled and unrecognizable, but the logistics of the cross and the truth of the cross are different. The Roman logistics of the cross are hard to even think about. They only equal death. But the truth of the cross boasts something different-life and wholeness and healing.

So then I imagine His body pouring out for us, standing under His flow of oil and being covered in all the good that He is. We would lose our bandages, put down our crutches. We would trade in our anger, lust, lies, hurts for a fresh pour of oil and smooth it over us until we were new again. His oil would saturate us, curl around and completely cover us. And nobody would leave the room.

 Oh! Precious is the flow,

That makes me white as snow.

No other fount I know…