Dandelions

“I’ve never put weedkiller on dandelions because I love them. I like to call them sun seeds because they look like seeds sown by the sun and blooming brightly. I know most people don’t think about them that way.”

–My grandmother

Even dandelions can be a picture of God’s grace.

Changes

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(Source: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PuppetPermutation )

I spent the last year feeling like a marionette, being pulled in all different directions: aching for China, working three jobs, trying to become a better reader and writer, pouring into my students, trying to serve my family, looking for my place within the local Body of Christ, struggling to keep up with friends and be good to them…

I turned a corner several months ago. I rearranged my house and got rid of extra clutter. I began to pull away from some relationships and pour more into others. The obligation toward so many things and people became secondary. I began to answer to Him first and Him alone. Those Martha strings, once tied to my limbs, began to unravel, and new strings were tied to the Deep calling my deep.

And now I am home.

As the Ruin Falls

All this is flashy rhetoric about loving you.
I never had a selfless thought since I was born.
I am mercenary and self-seeking through and through:
I want God, you, all friends, merely to serve my turn.

Peace, re-assurance, pleasure, are the goals I seek,
I cannot crawl one inch outside my proper skin:
I talk of love –a scholar’s parrot may talk Greek–
But, self-imprisoned, always end where I begin.

Only that now you have taught me (but how late) my lack.
I see the chasm. And everything you are was making
My heart into a bridge by which I might get back
From exile, and grow man. And now the bridge is breaking.

For this I bless you as the ruin falls. The pains
You give me are more precious than all other gains.

Clive Staples Lewis

On Jasper and Jesus

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Jasper, my cat, is a rather fast learner. He’s figured out that if I’ve made one trip to the kitchen in the morning to put the kettle on before my shower, then my next trip to the kitchen will be to take the kettle off the burner and then to feed him. As a result, he’s learned that if I’m brushing my teeth, food comes next. This morning was no different. He bugged and bugged me by meowing and pushing himself into my path, making sure his presence was known.

“Dude. I know you’re hungry. I need to finish this first, and then I promise I’ll feed you. Chill out.”

Meow.

“Really, Jasper? Don’t I always take care of you? After two years, you still worry about me feeding you in the morning?”

*Steps right in front of where I need to walk*

“Jazz, I’m almost done.”

Then the Holy Spirit speaks. “He’s just like you. I know what you need before you ask Me, and I always take care of you, but you still come back and beg and plead and try to make your presence known as if to imply that without your reminder, I won’t act on your behalf.”

Ouch.

Guys, let’s sit back and let God be God. The teakettle just might not be whistling, and the timing might not be right. He knows what we need before we ask. He will act. He will.

What the annoying bird and the misshapen tree taught me

 

It’s crazy how the song of the annoying bird above me still glorifies our Creator, isn’t it? His song is neither melodic nor soothing, nor any kind of competition for the other birds around, but he is loved and listened to all the same. He probably even scares all the other birds away with his wretched excuse for a tune…but he keeps on singing.

And the tree next to me – it has no “tree-like” shape to speak of; in fact, Charlie Brown’s tree would upstage it. Even still, it stands, proud and green, and I can’t help but wonder if maybe part of its destiny was for this day and this moment, to teach me more about the Father’s glory. Without this tree and its life-giving oxygen, that bird could never sing in the first place.

I think that maybe if that tree had a voice, it would speak to all who would hear: “I may have a voice, but you have arms, hands, legs, feet, eyes, ears, a heart, and a soul. I stand here day and night, but God has blessed you with everything you need to reach out, to go to the world. Who is doing a better job of reflecting His glory: You? Or me?

Mr. Annoying Bird has fluttered away to share his song with other ears now. I see what You’re showing me, God. I hear You.

No matter how off-key and dissonant your song, and no matter how scrawny or unsightly your branches may be, you have a role to play in reflecting God’s glory in this dark world. So, sing loudly, and stand proudly because the world has need of the Jesus in you.