Week 5 - 15 May 2020
When I open the back door and look out of a morning, I cannot help but smile and feel my spirits lift.
Granted if I look straight ahead I'm confronted by a brick wall, but my eyes are always drawn downward to a sea of blue
and pink-y lilac from the forget-me-nots and chives which have self-seeded in the cracks of the broken path,
which was due to be demolished just before the lock down set in.
I never thought I'd be grateful to lock-down, but seeing this beauty
I cannot help but praise the God who provides for us in all our needs.
God's ways are best; if he'd allowed the path to be fixed I wouldn't be enjoying all this loveliness.
Walking our German Shepherd across the fields this morning I could not fail to be moved by the beauty of God's creation,
the clear blue sky, the warmth of the bright sunshine, but especially the proliferation of cow parsley, daisies and dandelions.
Many people would regard these as weeds, particularly if they found them in their garden,
and would hastily remove them, but what beauty they miss;
and what are weeds but 'flowers in the wrong place'?
It's all about perception.
Remember, weeds are in the eye of the beholder.
When I last visited my eldest grand-daughter in Germany she took me to see her new allotment.
A section of it was covered in various grasses and wild flowers that looks like complete chaos, to me,
and one corner was full of nettles.
She told me she uses many of the wildflowers and grasses in herbal remedies and teas
(hence the nettles, especially, tended her favourite tea),and that the weeds were the harvest.
It's going to be a wonderful garden when she's got it all in order
and maybe some day I will benefit from a medication that someone discovered in a garden of weeds and wildflowers.
Her weed patch is a living parable to me.
I think Jesus would have made it into a parable that we should reflect and discover before we dismiss those different from us.
God's idea of worth is so much different from the worlds.
Jesus spent much his time among the outcasts, the ones that society rejected; all are loved and valued by God.
He loves us when we are unlovely (and calls on us to do the same).
We meet many different kinds of people as we go through our lives,
some who we can relate to and enjoy their company and others that we would rather ignore or have banished.
Who did God come for?
It's natural to believe that God came for all the good people, this makes sense to us.
Yet, Jesus demonstrated time and time again that He came not for those who are well, but for those who were sick,
physically and spiritually!
Christ's example is a great challenge to us as Christians if we examine the kinds of people He ministered to.
Why? Because it calls us to reach out too, to those who make us uncomfortable,
to those we would rather not have to deal with, to those we would dismiss as never deserving God's love and favour.
How easily we forget the kind of love it took God to accept us!
I am so pleased I have been privileged to have worked in prisons and with the homeless.
I have met the kindest, most generous, caring people in these places.
Ironically, it was often the most abused, the most outcast, the most rejected by society
that accepted and found blessing in the love of Christ.
It was more often the self-satisfied, the religious leaders that mocked Christ and His ministry.
Some of the purest and best spiritual things come from the greatest pains and tragedies of life when Jesus is in the picture!
So if you are feeling a bit like a dandelion at the moment, someone in the wrong place, of no use,
that people look on as a nuisance; think again, dandelions are very useful and play an important part in God's world.
They can be used medicinally, the blanched leaves can be added to salads,
roots are used to make dandelion 'coffee' better still, dandelion wine is made from the flowers.
The flowers provide nectar for nearly 100 species of insects,
while the seeds and leaves feed over 30 species of birds and other wildlife.
Their presence alone attracts and supports several vital species in the environment,
including bees, butterflies, moths, and birds, which in turn pollinate fruits,
vegetables, herbs, and other flowers that feed even more species. Dandelions are useful and enrich the lives of others.
Be a dandelion, work with God as part of his creation, you are important!