“Megan, where did you get these?” her mother asked. Being a typical six-year-old, the little girl hadn’t thought it important where, just that they were pretty, and would no doubt make her mom happy. Isn’t is great how little ones say “I love you”?
Later last week, during a visit to our house, Megan’s parents revealed to me how their daughter had come in from riding bikes with her big brothers, holding a nice bouquet out so proudly for her mom. Upon being asked, she stated the flowers were just growing out in the ditch! Her parents looked cautiously at each other, not wanting to dash her delight, and queried further. “Megan”, they explained, “flowers like these do not just grow wild; exactly which ditch did you pick them from?” “Well, you see, they are down by Mrs. Ward’s mailbox” Megan said, and was then gently informed that sometimes people plant things on purpose by their mailboxes. At this point in their story, Megan began squirming sheepishly, so I quickly let her off the hook. “Well, at least your mom got one nice bouquet out of them!”, I said with a wink and a smile. She hopped down from the bar stool and ran out chattering something about her next venture. Oh dear God, if only we could all be so open to Your possibilities; and so easily redirected when we stray.
As I reflected back today about the child and the daisies, I wondered if we in the Christendom share Jesus as little children share flowers. What made Megan stop, look, consider, and partake? I’m thinking of accessibility, desirability, and perhaps the practicality of it.
I’m pretty sure that if I’d only planted the daisies in the bordered flowerbeds, the sweet child would have never touched them. She’d have recognized the border, the assumed possession, and would probably have been too shy to ask if she might pick from them. But these were accessible, visible. Do we tend to keep our Jesus and His words and love behind the church doors; neatly tucked inside a pretty bound bible of perhaps the latest version? Do we keep them hidden within our hearts where they certainly must begin of course, but out of which they must grow. (I should say from the start that I was thinking, and now write to myself first; for I am most guilty of seeking and finding….and then keeping instead of sharing!) In His teachings given to us in the book of Luke, Jesus points out that there are people in the “streets and lanes” (verse 21) and “highways and hedges” (verse 23) who are to be invited into the feast in His kingdom. Matthew records His words in chapter 5 where He tells us our lights must not be hidden (verses 14-16), but placed with purpose upon a lamp stand , illuminating goodness, and giving glory to God.
The daisies were desirable to her; like she said, “They were pretty”. What makes Christianity desirable? That is, what looks so good about following Christ that others want to follow? Shame on us when we distort Christianity with the panes of judgement, bigotry, and hypocrisy! I love to read about the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. I am convinced that if we are busy living out these, namely ‘love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control’, that there will be no time nor tolerance for the awful things that should never be named among God’s people. A prophet of long ago stated “He has shown you what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8) That is absolutely one of my favorite scriptures, and none has said it better.
Practically speaking, what made more sense than to see flowers, pick a bunch, and take to mom, showing her rather than telling her “I love you”? Really, we’ve all done it. We see something that reminds us of someone, and provided we can afford it, we grab it and can hardly wait for them to open it. I have a friend who loves frogs. Yes, frogs. Well anyway, anything with the image of a frog. I’ve never actually asked if she likes living frogs, but I’m guessing not as much as ‘froggy things’. I have bought frog objects for her just to say, “I was listening, I care”. Which reminds me, Kathy Rudolph, one of those items is in my car now for you! My first blog post told of the blossom in a teacup given to me by my toddler many years ago. I still remember, because he cared enough to pick it (and many more afterwards) and give it to me. When John Dale was our pulpit minister, he often said, “you just start where you are” in encouraging us to follow Christ as well as teach others. It’s the only practical way. Megan didn’t need a purchase order, a price list, or permission to do a good deed. Christ taught us that the greatest love is to give. After giving Himself for us, His last commandment before sitting down at the right hand of God, was to His disciples – to go. Teach. Baptize. Share. Love in word and deed by picking his gospel flowers and giving them away.
Again a child has given me a posy to ponder. Thank you Karen Opferman for letting me quote your child.
Thanks for dropping by my mailbox today. I pray that you’ve found a seed to take with you that will bloom within your heart and bear blossoms to share.