Lucky

Bringing the two clovers like trophies, I thought he would celebrate how wonderful, how amazing I am. It is difficult to impress him these days, this child who prefers back-flipping on the trampoline and concocting ever more intricate battles with powers that always overcome mine. Impressing a 6 year old who is racing into boyhood and has little time to notice nature with me or wonder about the relationship between vinegar and baking soda is quickly becoming beyond my reach. Thus the two 4-leaf clovers I spotted on the way down the hill, a particular gift of mine, this finding of luck in the midst of grass, surely I thought, surely, this will bring wonderment back onto his face. With no shame I admit I wanted him to for even just that moment between bounces and flips to think I had done something special.

He stopped long enough to look at one, rejected them at first and then took only one as if we were going to battle the clovers, my God why does everything have to be your guy against my guy these days? He asked if they really bring good luck. Hedging a bit, still holding out hope for my superior ranking in his eyes, I blathered on about how lucky it is to find them and that we will watch to see how our day goes. Never satisfied with my first answer, with my blathering, he asked how can they bring good luck, what about God? My instinct to grab my special clover back, push him on his smart little bottom for a “playful” bounce and retreat back onto the porch must have come from just too many skirmishes where I lose to his higher powered bot. Really, he wanted to bring God into my moment of cool? Mic dropped by a 6 year old.

His clover was tossed to the edge of the trampoline, the leaves curling drying in the sun. He already knew that our specialness doesn’t come from how many leaves we have or how high we can jump or really which powers we create in the battle. It all always comes back to God. I brought him a gift to show him how important I still was, looking for affirmation that I fit into his expanding world, he gave it to me, as unexpectedly and lasting as only a child who carries his faith more firmly than the treasured rocks that always fill his pockets or the blanket he clutches as he drifts off to sleep. My worth is not bound in my ability to spot what is unique in a clover pile, if I never find another 4 leafer, if I never find a means to impress this child with Pinterest science experiments, the work is already complete. How is it that I cannot remember this but go looking for luck in the grass?

Later as he curled up under blankets next to me, indulging in screen time racing monster trucks and whooping with each bashing and crashing, he took a moment away just long enough to announce, “Gran, you are so nice.” I hadn’t brought him anything, I wasn’t doing anything. Nice wasn’t the descriptor I had been aiming for but when I received this gift, I knew I had my trophy. My moment in the sun had arrived, empty-handed and offering only me, this child took notice and affirmed that I was enough. Not flashy or carrying extras to make me stand out, I was just enough right there on the couch with him.I want to share the messages of God to this child, instead he more often speaks them to me: “Stop trying so hard, I already see you. ”

In the end, my day was lucky, the kind of luck that comes when your faith is firmly rooted in the One who made the clovers and the One who whispers in the voice of little boys. One day those reminders that I am enough may sink in so deeply that I will stop striving for affirmation or trophies or winning with extra powers. Until that day, I am lucky enough to have this child around to remind me. “Yes, Plum, God made the clovers. Our blessings come from Him. Isn’t that nice?”

Honoring Those Who Served

Another Memorial Day, another opportunity to honor those who have served in our armed services, those who have lost their dreams and sacrificed their desires in battles that I can’t begin to fully understand. I absolutely am thankful for the men and women who have fought those wars and left us early and I am grateful even for those who served and lived and then returned to work and build families and communities. My battle is deeper, or bigger, with the concepts of fighting and killing and the senseless wars that we engage in around the world and the ways in which young poor people are given little option but the military as a means out of poverty. Always somewhat of a rebel, I have not been a flag waver just because we have one, I ask more questions. The current most distressing condition of our country begs for more questions, it seems our most patriotic duty, to really honor those who have fallen, is to ask the really hard questions right now.

I wonder at the label “Patriot” and how that has been so perverted to include those who spread hate and divisions and allow our country, our America!, to be infiltrated by the Russians. More and more evidence is surfacing that the elections were rigged, that the administration has been working back channels, that many of the GOP are in the pocket of Putin. I am no history major but I have read and watched a good deal about the McCarthy era and just cannot figure out how we have swung so far. During that time, the mere hint, a whisper, of being Communist got people blacklisted, changed the course of their lives. Now hearings are being convened again, subpoenas are issued, alarms are going off and excuses are made, flags are waved. Some people do not even want to look closer, to ask any questions, they are so filled with hate for Hillary that they cannot fathom anything said about their candidate is true. Tuned out, backs to the screen, fingers in their ears. How is that patriotic?

As the wreaths are laid today and the old pictures are posted on social media and families gather to remember grandpas and uncles who fought in wars long ago and aunts who have served more recently, I just have to ask what those who have fought would have us do? Blindly trust, shut down journalists, allow unskilled family members to take over in the West Wing, watch as Foreign Governments sound alarms? What did our fallen brothers and sisters give up their lives for? Wasn’t it that we would live free? Free to follow our Constitution, free to allow all the branches to work effectively in checks and balances? Free to worship? Free to serve each other and grow in our diversity and welcome those who are tired and hungry? Anyone who has served overseas has witnessed the ravages of war and understands the wealth we have here and the duty of our land to share and welcome those who are escaping tyranny. We grow stronger as a nation by listening to each other and to smart people in true journalistic endeavors who show us not only what is happening on battlefields but behind closed doors and during election nights and within the Oval office.

This Memorial Day, may we truly honor those who have given all by giving our all to keeping this land free. May we ask those tough questions of ourselves that may force us to admit we got duped. May we open our doors to those who are needing refuge from mass incarceration or the new war on “different.” Our grandpas and uncles and aunts and mothers will thank us for making their sacrifice worth it.

Right Here

The sound of his feet tromping up the stairs, down the hallway reached me before his voice, calling out, “Gran where are you?” Those feet that no longer fit into little boy sizes, are reaching into adult numbers with each new purchase of shoes. I remember those baby feet, how I kissed his soles and sniffed the very infancy that rose up, never musty never dirty. His feet are large now, often filty and filled with bits of sock and smelling of the day’s sweat and gym class and time spent at recess. School is out though now so shoes are only for going to the store or church so toes are most often covered in mud and bits of grass and always something under his nails. Those feet were carrying him upstairs to find me as I was hidden away on my balcony for just a few moments to read the  chapter in the latest book I had downloaded.

He was searching me out to ask if he could have a cup of shaved ice, the equivalent of any other child asking for ice cream. His grandfather sidestepped the decision, unable to give a firm no to those blue eyes and that smile. Those eyes are wicked enticing, he moves his eyebrows just like his father, it is a terrible wonderful combination when unleashed on those who don’t have a shield in place. Already the girls in the neighborhood gather and swarm and jockey for his attention. I want to warn them, I know what a boy with that kind of charism can do to a girl. I watched them ride their bikes back and forth in front of our house, looking craning trying to get him to come play or issue an invitation to join him but he ignored them, preferring to sit on the trampoline with me and roll balls of play doh in a game where points are scored in a system rigged against me.

I said yes to the shaved ice as we made a deal about dinner, I was somewhat drunk on the book I was reading and the momentary peace I had experienced and the birds and those eyes and that smile. Lost in the moment of just being gran and not worrying about vegetables and protein, I said yes. Anticipating that he would take those large feet and his prize back down the stairs and out the door to rejoin his grandfather in victory, it was an easy deal to make. I didn’t want to get up yet to make more food and clean the kitchen again and disturb the Saturday evening. He didn’t scamper though, he climbed onto my lap, ignoring the other chair on the balcony and wiggled and nudged and scooted until he found a way to fit his growing body onto my shrinking one. His feet reached almost to my outstretched legs, as I rested them on a stool, his head no longer nestles under mine but blocks my view.

He complains that I get more screen time than him, that I can “always be on my phone” and he can’t. Taking that opportunity to show him what I was doing, that I wasn’t playing games or killing zombies, he still wasn’t impressed. He saw the words and so offhandedly said, “No gran you were writing and you posted that.” In turns wowed that he understands that I write and had mistaken the John Irving novel I am reading for something I could ever do, if only because he read none of it and only saw a flash of it and at this point in his literacy has no taste for good books, and then dismayed that he equated gaming and reading as endeavors of the same measure when completed on a device,  I explained the difference between books and games.  I told him that he had unlimited time on my iPad if he is reading. My phone was snatched away with his sticky fingers as he searched for the book apps we downloaded, apps he ignores to instead kill zombies and race monster trucks. While he explored the possibilities, I noticed the day streamed along his arms and  legs, the moments of marker that left the pages and touched his skin, the places where water fights had removed patches of dust blown up by bike skid-out competitions. I smelled the boy in his hair as his head rested on my shoulder and remembered that these moments are moving as quickly as the images on the screens. How many more times will he choose to ignore the kids who come calling in order to play with me?

After another water fight that I did not agree to and absolutely lost and then his bath where he got to warm up in bubbles with more battles of guys who are missing some limbs because the beasts like to sneak in and eat bath toys, we read another chapter of Harry Potter. I wanted to read the books to him first before he saw the movies, to entice him into the world of magic and reading just as his father was lured in but Mama showed him the first movie and who can stop there? So we were backtracking and the gift of a lovely illustrated volume given by a former babysitter who knows the power of JK Rowling and also how special this little boy is was our vehicle into the story. Curled up next to me, growing more limp with each paragraph, he listened as the day eased away. Impossible not to remember reading this book to his father, not to remember saying, “Last chapter” and hearing, “NO! one more!” until he chose to take over reading by himself. Hooked, the child who wouldn’t read, mastering the task because he had to know what would happen next. Plum already knows though and wants me to get to the part with the snake and the part with the girl in the bathroom. We won’t get there tonight, the trampoline and the bike and the water battles and a warm bath ensured his body was betraying his words and he was sent off to bed.

I see his father most when he is sleeping, those blue eyes that are exact replicas closed to me. I see the resting face and I watch, wondering at his dreams and knowing when he wakes his feet will be a bit bigger and his fingers a bit longer and his eyes a bit more charming. While he sleeps though I can look at him and see the son I no longer can gaze at and know that each child only visits for a season, they nestle onto laps and ask before they get snacks only for a short time before they read to themselves and take their own showers. I know this gift of moments all add up to him choosing different playmates and one day kissing the feet of his own children. One day he will tell the stories of growing up fully surrounded by the love of his grandmother, his cousins will wonder that they were kept from those kisses and ice creams and water fights. He will love his friends and spouse and children and live out his faith in large part because of the moments I don’t steal away on the balcony but spend reading Harry Potter and cutting up strawberries for him.

The first weekend of summer break is drawing to a close, the burn pile is gone. I struggled to light it after too much rain had dampened it all. I wanted to roast hot dogs and make s’mores but just couldn’t get it going. Knowing he was going to be disappointed, I tried to explain about water-soaked wood and that another week of sun would do the trick. I reminded him that patience is good. With his most serious face and those blue eyes shining, he asked me if I remembered our family motto.  Muttering excuses, spouting reasons, I tried with all I had to explain. Still, he asked me, did I not remember? Yes, Plum, I remember. “We never give up.”  Confident that he had left me to my task with my confidence restored, he went about playing and I called in Chef to actually make the burn pile ignite. Hot dogs were roasted, s’mores were made. Our legacy and his to us, the simple reminder that if we want something badly enough, we will make it happen. This child is proof everyday that doing all the hard work and smelling the stinky toes will bring deep joy of snuggles on balconies and giggles on the way to bed. This little boy who is ushering in summer for the 7th time with bigger feet and blue eyes that can read without my help calls me back to the moment and away from worries and remembering and wishing, “Gran, where are you?” “Right here, sugarPlum, right here.” Contact established, we are both exactly where we need to be.

Radiate

Welcome to Summer

I was involved in a rescue attempt yesterday, called into the fray when my tiny cat was in the yard and didn’t budge even though the two 100 lb.+ beasts came barreling at her.  She stayed fixed in both her spot and her focus, this little feline who generally leaps away at the very sound of the door opening. She is not a fan of the beasts though they love her, affection  shown with huge slobbering tongues wiped along her body, itty bitty nips with their massive jaws as they urge her to play. No, it meant she had a critter in her sights, one she may have lovingly nibbled or swiped with her delicate princess paws. I could have left her to her natural need to take all of the beast frustration out on the smaller rodents she meets, but the door was already open and the beasts were heading towards her before I realized the circle of life was in full swing in my back yard.

Much rushing, yelling, pushing ensued as I tried to protect the mole that I despise on account of his being a rodent though it was nothing personal and tried to protect the beasts who would surely try to lick and nibble and I was near to vomiting at the very idea of that. Plum came to see what all the excitement was and jumped each time I by turns tried to scoop up the critter and then recoiled when I almost did. I was stuck in a game of Survival, where I have to throw someone else off the island to save myself. In my defense, I am truly terrified of rodents and I know they can jump really far and they run scittering really fast and I would have died if it got on me and I am not convinced Plum knows that whole call 911 thing, he may have taken the opportunity for unsupervised screen time. While I lay there dying, more rodents would come, it was a true horror film playing out in my mind as I sought to catch or not to catch and to keep the beasts away and they are seriously quite strong. Ultimately, I stayed on the island and the rodent ended up in beast mouth which may have saved me momentarily but I realized then rodentinsidebeastmouth was even more disgusting because beasts enter our home and rodent mouth is EWWW and dear Lord is it only the first day of summer break?

Much shouting at Plum to help me corner the racing celebrating beast who joyously held the rodent in between his jaws as he zipped by at a lightening speed.  For the very first time in his entire life Plum decided he needed shoes on. Shoes!  I am in survival mode level 999 like all his games and he abandons me while he seeks shoes. At the last second I shouted for him to remember to shut the door but the last second was really the too late second because he didn’t shut the door and the rodent breathed beast ran into my home.  The kid still had no shoes, the dog was inside with a mole covered in slobber, I was having an anxiety attack and it was only 8:30 am. This is why day drinking is a thing.

The beast was cornered and removed, jaws firmly clamped and tail wagging excitedly, onto the back porch where he was ordered to “Drop it.” I didn’t have a watch on or access to the microwave timer but I believe this continued for at least an hour as the mole drowned inside my happy beast’s huge mouth and my Plum offered him treats and bones and beast #2 just on the other side of the door barked angrily at being kept from all the fun. Admitting defeat in the entire chain, I ushered Plum back in and left the dog outside to think about what he had done. He promptly spat the no longer scittering or leaping mole onto the porch and waited to be allowed back into the house. You know that game adolescents and men who never leave adolescence play on each other, where you reach for the car door and they drive away, leaving you on the curb? Each time they promise not to do it again until you are ready to kill them but still, over and over you reach for the handle and they scoot the car just out of reach? My beast is an adolescent. Touch door handle, beast grabs his treasure.  I walk away, he drops it. I knew I was being played but damnit, the rodent was right at my door.

I don’t believe there is a lesson here for me except to scan my full yard before allowing my beasts outside and to make sure Plum knows that if granny falls over dead in the yard this is not extra screen time. Welcome to summer break, friends.

Keep Singing

Last night I tuned into The Voice finale just as the reposts of the bombing in Manchester at the Ariana Grande concert were flooding my twitter feed. (Yes, I am guilty of looking at my phone while watching tv, I have many bad habits, this is not that post where I list them all.) I can’t say I am familiar with her music or even really know where Manchester is located specifically, but I understand the power of music. I was struck by the young artists on this show who were striving to get their literal voices heard, who had dreams and aspirations and felt the music clear into their souls and absolutely needed to express their gifts. Ms. Grande seems to be just such a young woman, now forever connected to a horrific act and the loss of lives. Her concert attendees seemed to be mostly other young people, many really young, accompanied by their mothers. I watched the tv and saw hopes looking for a chance as others were extinguished all as the music played.

When my children were adolescents, I took them to just such concerts, Avril Lavigne and some boy band my daughter loved that I can’t recall right now. I earned “best mom ever” credit for sitting through loud concerts with screaming girls, buying t-shirts and letting kids stay up way beyond bedtime in order to feed the need for music that spoke to where they were. I even took them to a Christian music Woodstockish festival where we camped out and got muddy and went from venue to venue for several days. The kids ran freely among other early teens who were searching for identity and safe rebellion and rap music that didn’t make their parents ground them. Toby Mac introduced us to a new way to worship, a new way to let them express some angst while still within the boundaries of our faith. It was bliss and too much laundry and terrible camp food and unexpected cold and rain and amazing memories. I understood that music was integral to shaping their choices, I wanted to help them make positive ones. I can only imagine the same was true for all of those moms at that concert last night, for those who purchased tickets for their children to go and waited outside in coffee shops reading a book, feeling so confident in the parenting choice they had made. I can only imagine the horror that they all feel now, those who ran screaming, searching, begging to find their children safe, those who did and my God, those who didn’t.

I sat in the sanctuary this Sunday while our praise band, certainly not concert level material as we are Methodist, slayed me. The music, the songs, something holy happens sometimes and I just have no ability to maintain the defenses that I walked in with. These people share the gifts they have and God takes over, my soul is broken open and real work is begun. I believe that is what happened to my children at all those concerts, even with angsty teen music. Whether they were learning to trust their mom durning the rough years ahead or they were learning to lean into their faith, those concerts undergirded them during critical times. The bombing at this concert makes it all the more horrific to me, all the more personal to me. Terrifying people at a time their souls are being opened, truly an actor evil.

Today I am hearing that the bomber was a young person as well. I can’t help but wonder about what has taken place in his life, who broke his soul to allow him to carry out this atrocity. How does one look at the joy and celebration in such an environment and decide you must kill? When I am in such places, I want more of that joy, I want more of the happiness, it is energizing and catching and electric. Only a deadened soul wouldn’t  feel the beat and want to tap toes and raise arms and begin swaying, at the very least. Who didn’t sing to this child, who didn’t tell him he could play an instrument of peace? Who perverted any of those messages his mother gave him to turn what were songs of love and hope into screams of horror?

As more information comes out, maybe we will have answers about this bombing but I know for sure that music will live on. I know someone will win The Voice, but really they all did already. I know my praise band speaks Jesus every week.  I know more songs will be written and more little kids will pick up flutes and tubas and learn to play the piano. I know moms will take teens to concerts and we will sing in our churches and temples and mosques and wherever we worship. Music is holy. The way through this horror is not more guns or wars or hate but more love and peace and prayer. I’m reminded of the old Coke commercial , oh I wish we could all sing together today. Still, we will keep singing wherever we are because music is absolutely bigger than hate.

Let our souls join with those who are mourning and fearful, let us join in prayer and song for those who are aching. Let us lift up those who are being broken right now into the ways of evil, that they may be invited back into songs of joy. Let the music of peace always win.

 

Dividing the Indivisible

Betrayal of trust dominates the news, regardless of which way you voted. Do you trust the media or the president or the leaks or other elected officials? How do we come back from this, how do we reunite again? Friends we blocked on social media and family we no longer speak to because divisions have become too personal all are experiencing this drama in real time with us. How can we hear each other in the midst of celebrating on one side and mourning on the other, questions grow about how long how deep how messed up is our government? Is the polarization lasting or can we find our way back together, putting our shared goals first? The only way out is through, having a hundred hard talks and listening to hearings and determine the undeniable facts and taking action, then finding someone, anyone to build coalition again. Expecting that we will unite now though is foolish, insensitive to those who saw it coming and to those who are lagging behind, still holding on to what they believed could be true. We have to do the work. Rebuilding the lost trust when we have shown our ugliest selves on social media and around kitchen tables and in cubicles takes much time. Asking for immediate forgiveness  negates the depth of the wounds, the reality of the anger and the legitimacy of the tears. Breaking trust creates ripples that show up long after that last wave is seen.

There is a certain arrogance in the actions of those who think they know better, can decide differently than they have been instructed or asked or charged with doing. Heat of the moment actions, passions overcome, selfish choices made that destroy democracies and relationships. I wonder if any of them consider the consequences in those moments or are they too full of righteousness to remember the factor of trust, to remember their own failings. What is the end game? What can they possibly be thinking, that their actions will never be discovered, we will thank them for all of this? That we will forget we ever said no don’t do that, don’t sell our government and tell our secrets and call us names? Oh to be so sure of yourself, so confident that you can overtake the thoughts of others and twist them once again so that you did nothing wrong and really it was for our own good. What must it be like to be that person so willing to throw away their position and standing and relationships for that moment when they say yes to what is wrong. I cannot fathom the thought process. I cannot get there. Maybe I just haven’t held enough power or charisma.

I listened to a sermon yesterday from a young pastor who talked about apologizing without the “but.”  Right up there on the altar, I heard the beginning steps to rebuilding trust. Apologizing without trying to explain away actions, expecting understanding or instant forgiveness.  I love the VlogBrothers video on how to apologize, I reference it often. It is brilliant. Like the drivers exam or SAT’s, there should be a standard exam you have to take on this video in order to reach actual adulthood or before allowed into relationships. Certainly before you place your hand on any Bible and take an oath or even say I do.  And then as a refresher course every 5 years, as we all begin to forget that messing up only comes with instant grace from God, we have to do the work with fellow humans.

We are going to have many opportunities to extend grace and safe haven to those who are mourning in the coming days and weeks. Those who have lost hope in institutions and no longer know where to turn, who is to be believed, who is on their side. We can judge, we can celebrate that our side is winning, look at how great we are, sure we knew all along how to do this. But is that Godly? Where is the grace in that? Because I am reminded that our side wasn’t always so crystal clean, that we didn’t always look so pure. Feeling shocked when the mourning have had enough and strike back, what a blessing to have only to experience a snippet of their hurt and live in only a moment and judge from the comfort of our own homes. No one likes to have their dirtiness exposed, do we offer a warm bath or a cold shower? No, we have a chance as real followers of Jesus to extend grace, to allow the broken to find healing and to do so without prejudice. Anything else is more ugliness and we just cannot bear to add that onto this wreckage.

We are facing unprecedented challenges, no time in history have we been afforded the luxury and responsibility that instant communication affords us. Slowing down and using it wisely, apologizing when we have broken trust, creating safe haven for those who are hurting, this looks like the way forward to creating unity to me. There are many groups that spread hate and are seeking to divide us all. My friend Jesus knew those groups as well, my friend Ghandi did, my friend Martin Luther King Jr. met them too. Seeing anger and hate for what it is and showing kindness to those suffering, they gave us a model of how to move forward. Will we chose to follow? That is how we rebuild broken trust. I fear it is going to get much worse before it gets better. We all have a chance to show our better selves, to be our better selves.

The question is, are we brave enough to do what is right by God, humble ourselves and extend that olive branch to those who we have lost along the way? Relationships and governments need all the voices, not just the most powerful. Is there room in your life for those who are quietly hurting? Can you make space without judgement for those who  feel hopeless? If you already have all the answers, if you are celebrating without all the facts, I may question your claim as a patriot or a Christian. You may find you have some work to do yourself before you begin planning that victory party.  One nation under God, indivisible. No buts, let’s work to rebuild what is broken.

Flowers

Roses have never been my style, those perfect flowers with heady scents grown to be stripped of their thorns and put in vases, knowing early deaths after yes a magnificent life of commanding all the attention but still uprooted and cut and arranged by others this way and that. Roses have always made me sad, they seem shallow, like the first middle school girls who wear make-up and grow breasts and curves and know the boys like them for their bodies and will leave them when they begin to droop. No, wildflowers are my real love, those tough determined flashes of color all shapes and sizes that show up where least expected bringing beauty and joy if one looks closely and doesn’t blink. Wildflowers know they will not grace any hall tables unless discovered by the truest finders of God’s gifts, children, and they are content to bloom where they erupt and allow the wind to scatter their seeds and allow the rain to water their next generation. Wild flowers know that it is only in trusting God that they even exist and while no one may ever notice them, it is enough that God does and finds them worthy.

Remembering that God created the roses as well, a purposeful life of containment can still be lived within the confines of the vase. See the child lean so close, head dipped into the face of the rose, no worries of thorns as she caresses the petals? A visit with God as she breathes in the Holy Spirit. A corsage adorning the grandmother’s lapel brings whiffs of a 1,000 diaper changes and a 1,000,000 meals created with a meager pantry and too many mouths, each turn releases the scent of long mothering days and prayerful anxious nights and dreams and hopes, some known and more left in the field. Roses are created by God as well, flowers that bring memories afresh and draw lovers closer. How can I learn from both the roses in hot houses and the wildflowers of the meadows?

I forget that I am not a lone daisy in a field raising my face to God, still but for the breeze or the vibration of  insects wings as they brush by, taking only what they need for nourishment, never too much, never all of me. I fight against being cut down and confined to a vase, knowing hearing yearning for the fields and the worlds around. Am I to be kept for the sure enjoyment of one day, the needs of only one rather than the possible delight of any who might wander by and sure feeding of the sun and the moon and the butterflies? My soul says I am more, I have greater reach, stretch out! Yet my stem gets sliced to a more manageable size, I am placed inside under watch as my petals begin to fall and my colors fade. How do I learn to be a rose when I am a flower of the pasture? Is my faith in God enough to survive the knife again and again, as I am reduced to less and less until I am pressed between the pages of a book no one will read?

Do we bring glory to God by becoming less than what our souls yearn to be or by dodging and swaying away from the scissors to avoid the cut that separates us from life giving earth and sun and air? Is that God whispering urging telling us to listen to the wind as we notice the ways we are bending folding exchanging our petals until finally we are only tissue paper dreams of what could have been?  Once cut off from our true purpose, hope drips out like tears onto the sofa, collected in kleenex and tossed away while we sit helplessly in the vase and wait. Still, I know that the same God who created the flowers the fields designed the roses with their thorns and even a shorter life in captivity can bring glory to Him.

Listen, listen carefully , what does the breeze whisper? Stay or sway? Reach up to Him with trust, let tears mix with dew. The truth is that even meadow flowers get trampled by deer, nibbled by rabbits. The only safety is in the arms of God, the vase and the field are both temporary containers. How we live out our time in either is how we bring glory to the One who created us. Stay or sway, allow our thorns to be stripped, we all turn our faces to the Son and know He holds the answers.