Thursday, April 15, 2010

Flowers, Beauty and Grace

My African violet has three to four new purplish violet tinted blossoms this week and to great surprise the peace plant in my office has grown a new white blossom as well. It just opened today. Flowers, beautiful, simple, and fragile. Purple for royalty, white for purity and peace. Something about them calls out, cries out. Life and beauty shown and given unto me. A token of love and kindness.

I Corinthians 3:6 reads "I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow."

Flowers, new life, hope and great beauty can bring healing. It is a gift that can touch deeply or enrage. I've heard many a story from my friend, Michelle, the florist, about how not everyone is happy to get flowers. Some figure all they have to do is send a nice bouquet or arrangement to smooth over an offense. No change in behavior or I'm sorry, just the beautiful bouquet.

What about when the person sending the flowers has every right to be indignant or enraged themselves? I wonder how many of us send flowers as a token of kindness when we are the one offended? Does anyone? I'm not talking about those who pacify or enable people in order to hold onto them because they are co-dependent. What I am talking about is GRACE.

Grace defined as: mercy, favor, pardon; the unmerited will and favor shown to us from God. In fact, the word is used in the Bible over 100 times. Christianity would not be what it is or have the power to effect mankind the way it does, if it was not for God's grace. It is because of this, that we are able to be forgiven and share eternity with God as His children.

It is this same grace and kindness shown unto me, when God causes beautiful flowers to blossom in my own home. Home, the very place where I have stewed in anger over the way He does things, the people he chooses to bless or not, and those people or situations He appears to leave unchanged and broken. Many of which I simply and can not for the life of me understand, at all, nor one bit.

Yet, I do know one thing, the flowers are simply beautiful and somehow they touched me. "His mercies are new every morning."(Lamentations 3:22-23) May we all glean more insight and develop a greater appreciation for just how much He gives, especially when we are the ones who should be saying, "I'm sorry."

Monday, April 5, 2010


Spectacular colors


Running wild


Nothing untouched remains

Genesis of nature gamboling

Saturday, April 3, 2010

People or Techno. ?

Years ago I heard Barbara Streisand sing, "People who need people are the luckiest people in the world." I can't remember the whole song, but those words have always stood out to me. Somehow though, with all of this technology today,we seem to have gotten away from that. Now a days it's all about being independent and getting more done faster. Don't get me wrong. Technology has improved the quality of life for many and I love my computer. I love the easy access and it's time saving attributes, but I also love people.

Yesterday, I climbed onto the elliptical machine at the gym, plugged in my headphones to the TV, and flipped to CMT. TY Pennington was on doing one of his infamous home makeovers. This time it was for a man who was paralyzed from a gun shot. He needed a lot of assistance. His home was not handicapped accessible. So Ty and his team set about making this wonderful new home, loaded with all kinds of neat gadgets. Rodney would not need any assistance for moving through the house and bathing any longer. He would now have voice activated lifts to move him and lower him into the shower or bath. One of the carpenters was demonstrating how this new gadget worked and said, "Now Rodney won't need anybody to help him. He'll be totally independent."

"Hmmm. I don't know if that's all that good," I thought to myself. I totally understand the desire to be independent, but I also know there is a blessing in caring for and serving. In John 13:4-5;14 it reads, " he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet... 'Now that I your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet.'" Furthermore, Jesus stated in Matthew 25:44-45, "They will also answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me."

My mom, Linda has had 12 surgeries over the past decade or so. Each time, her movement was limited to some degree. With her back or shoulder surgeries, she needed help getting dressed or getting in and out of the shower. She was unable to do common household chores like laundry or vacuuming, but my dad was always there. He dressed her, made the bed, did the laundry, vacuumed and made her breakfast. If you were to ask him about it, I know he would say, "It is a privilege to care for and serve my wife in this way." Gadgets don't say that. They can't. They simply operate according to instruction.

By 3:40 p.m. I finished my run on the elliptical, stretched out, gathered my things from the locker room and headed over to see my friend, Keith. I started to tell him about the Home Makeover show I was watching and asked my bedridden friend, "Keith, if you had a choice between technology to help you or people, which would you pick?" Keith didn't even have to think about it. He was diagnosed with Polio many years ago and has relied on caring people to assist him for years now. Instantly, he replied, "People."

Gadgets are fun and can make life easier, but they don't say 'I love you' with each movement they make. They assist, but should never replace anyone because after all, people who need people, really are the luckiest people in the world.