These all smelled delicious. I wanted to bury my face in them and not leave.
The images that the perfume of lilacs spring back to me are precious scenes of walking with armloads of lilacs to my school to place around the statue of Mary. Very fond memories, very inspiring times.
I know for most people icons are a bugger to get around in their brain, but I am a very visual person they propelled me to contemplate those in the great cloud of witness. I didn't have a problem with confusing the statue as anything more that a reminder of those we should remember daily.
I did not revere the statue, the statue brought clearly to mind those I do revere. Much as the cross or the crucifix brought clearly to mind to whom I owed my salvation and the God I was to worship all the days of my life
Not too much different in my book than family photos of grandpa and grandma and all the greats in the family that have gone before.
Call it a crutch if you will or worse an idol but then think of the photos that you show to your children of great Aunt Etty when you tell them what a wonderful strong christian she was, do your children think the picture is Aunt Etty?
Just saying that, before you cream a group of people for their ways please slow down and really look at what may or may not be going on. Is it really against the people we are called to be? And try not to throw the baby out with the bath water because someone in your past did have a confusion on the matter.