When Mom died of cancer in February of 2005, it came during a dark, cloudy period of my life. Yes, the day of the funeral had clear blue skies and white, cold snow, but Mom’s passing was tough for all of us.
That year (2005) Sandy and I decided to plant fewer vegetables and go for flowers. We may have had three 7’ x 2’ plots of soil, so 30’ to 40’ square feet of soil. A lot, by urban standards. The beauty of those irises, lilies, hydrangeas, and assorted other flowers transformed our backyard. I think Sabrina Hartlzer may have already been living there—if so she had all sorts of flowers and flower pots. Beauty opens our eyes to see more. And beauty soothes our souls. God is the source of beauty, so ultimately beauty should lead me back to God, right? Not always. If beauty alone did the leading back to God, I’d probably wear make-up, invest in better-looking teeth, and consult a cosmetic surgeon to see if anything could be done about my Miller nose.
Beauty, love, peace, joy, rest. All of these blessings can be enjoyed by Christ-followers, children of God. I noted recently something about flowers and sharing the gospel. A few people commented to me about the flowers. Was there a resistance to linking the good news of Jesus to flowers? Not sure.
Insert story here… During the Syrian siege of Samaria in II Kings 7, we listen in to a conversation between four leprous men in Samaria. They reason amongst themselves that if they stay in the city they will die of starvation. So they decide to head out to the Syrian army and hope they obtain mercy. Well, the Syrian army had “heard” the noise of an approaching army during the night and had fled, leaving horses, tents, and donkeys. These four men found beauty and bounty! They “went into one tent and ate and drank, and carried from it silver and gold and clothing, and went and hid them, and went into another tent, and carried from there also. Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent. Now therefore, let us go and tell…”
Do these lepers have anything to teach Christ-followers? Yes, walk into the presence of the Lord. Plant those flowers. Discover the extravagant goodness of God. Receive His love, peace, joy, rest. Do you know He loves you?
If I know and experience the authentic, everlasting love of the Father, it leads me to the next step “This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent. Let us go and tell!”
For Christ-followers, open-hearted recognition and experience of God’s extravagant mercy and boundless love should ALWAYS lead his people to go and tell and of the goodness of God.
If we do not tell of God’s love, do we really know His love?
What can flowers teach us? Jesus said we should consider the lilies. They do not toil or spin. Yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Ah, so the flowers CAN bring us back to God. Clothed in the righteousness of Christ, we go and tell.