I hate to bring you in through the back door, with the dried pea hulls, dead spiders, and bugs a billion, but here is where my Happy Monday moment came to me. Unexpected little pop ups throughout your day can be inconvenient, or perhaps pleasantly impossible to ignore. Either way, I encourage you to stop and – yes, literally – smell the flowers. Even if, and you know it happens, the flowers carry with them a host of hurdles to jump. Thorns, bees, a little pollen up your nose, or the vast array of weeds that do their best to hinder our floral pleasure, can take the shape of a flat tire, forgotten lunch, insufficient fund notices, or any of a million things you can name right now that may have popped up from day-to-day.
As I hustled through my list (yes I do actually have to have a check-off list to get from point A to point B by the end of the day), I was making my way through the garage, which is a hurdle in and of itself, to take a basket of washed sheets to the clothes line. Please don’t fault me for not taking advantage of the dryer on a busy day, because the time it takes to line dry and bring back in a load of bed linens is small compared to the reward; the fragrance is WAY worth it! So, as I side-ways scooted my way past the car and opened the door to the back yard, an unexpected impasse to my path was met. Over a couple of days, the Rock and Roll rose bush had sprouted two branches that took off in their own direction – across the doorway of the garage. Well, I know they didn’t actually grow to that length in a couple of days, but I hadn’t noticed them yet. So, with a recent rain the new leaves and blooms took on enough weight to cause them to bend into my path. In my prior haste, I’d only made note to myself that I really need to cut that bush back, with the dropping leaves, and scarcely a bloom causing it to be more of a patio problem, than pretty. So what, you are wondering, is the problem with the two new stems? Getting past them with a loaded laundry basket in one arm, and avoiding the thorns with the other. Simply, I was slightly inconvenienced, because I was not turning around and making my way back across that car to go another route. Nor was I about to risk damaging the rose branches! So, I gently brushed them aside, made my way to the line and back, and then I noticed the intense color of the roses, unlike the faded ones at this late date of summer. I stopped and inhaled the beauty of what a tired old raggedy overgrown September rose bush had to offer. Indescribable. A perfume only God can make. And I just stopped, and said “wow, what can You do with me Lord, a tired old raggedy overgrown autumn soul?” He gave me this beauty at my back door, and He gives us a thousand a day. Be encouraged to know he can use us, all of us, in any season, to His glory.
While waiting for that flat tire to be fixed, if you are like me and never learned to do that for yourself, notice the strength in the hands and arms of the one changing the tire. Or, just enjoy a moment to catch a glimpse of the sky while you wait. Either way, there’s bound to be beauty in some of that. And while you’re at it, thank God you weren’t flying down the interstate when it went flat. If someone (yes that would be me) forgot their lunch, sneak in a smiley face and take it to them, or buy their lunch, and watch the glow of gratitude in their eyes. As for insufficient fund notices, I don’t have to tell you how beautiful pay-day is! Actually I have had those bad news bears to make their fiery way to my flaming face before I figured out I have to keep a hidden pad within the account that I do not show in my balance. That took care of that! But even in one of those hideous situations, there was the beauty of knowing I could depend on my good husband to pitch in some funds; also there was the beauty of our home town bank forgiving and waiving the fee on the first offense. Enough personal data!
There really is so much unexpected beauty that makes its way to the door of our hearts. Being invited to a group bible study, and finding an answer to a hidden weight in your heart; or taking the dog ‘out’ ONE MORE TIME, and finding the yard full of Eastern Bluebirds; reaching over to the roughened gnarled hand beside you and finding the security and love of the past 43 years; all these and so many more you could name, are examples of unexpected pleasures that came with a price. Or a leash.
Not long ago, I was going through the McDonald’s line to buy that one-dollar large Diet Coke I don’t need, and decided to buy a couple of large iced teas also, to take to a couple who were working at their newly purchased lake house. At the window, the employee said, “someone in a couple of cars ahead of you paid for two of these already”. At times, there is so much beauty at the door, I can’t even do a good deed!
I made one of my very infrequent visits to a local nursing home lately. I was thinking, I just have to do this, how would I feel if I were there, this won’t take too long, etc. etc, like I know some of you have thought, too. Right? Just as I entered the room of a gentleman I’ve grown to love over the past few years, his sweet wife was leaving. She said, “Oh, good, he was feeling sort of blue because I’ve got to go before dark.” So, I sat down and just melted into the beauty of his blue eyes, as they brimmed with tears from time to time. Occasionally he would take a breath and let it out, but looking around, he couldn’t think of how to say what he might have wanted to say. He sobbed a bit when he told me it got pretty lonely there; but when I asked about his grandsons he smiled and his eyes sparkled. When I told him I was about to go visit someone else, he perked up some and said, “oh, they live here too?” So after I could no longer keep from commenting on his beautiful eyes, he chuckled and thanked me, and said, “you have pretty eyes, too.” Whether he meant it or not is insignificant; my heart was full! How could I ever again think of a nursing home visit as anything other than a blessing? Beauty at the door.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 a)
“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin: and yet I say to you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” ( Matthew 6:28-29 )