I noticed the lone surviving lavendar plant from the twelve I had planted (5 years ago). It had wild morning glories twisting its way amongst its purple stems--what a stranglehold it had. I'd seen the daisies clustered behind my pecan trees, but their presence did not bring the usual excitement typical for me. From my kitchen window, I barely gave a glance to the array of giant Foxgloves growing by the fence. A smile...a nod of praise to the Lord for their perennial presence in my life. Scripture came to mind..."Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." Luke 12:27
Yeah, Lord; I know. But lilies don't have chronic back pain, I reasoned. And lilies don't outgrow their attire. And lilies don't get bronchitis. And lilies don't have company coming and have a tub to scour and tables to dust.
Recent weeks of pain had robbed me of enthusiasm. Oklahoma's sweltering heat discouraged a walk outside. A messy neglected house simply did not deserve a bouquet to grace the dining-room table cluttered with bills, books and my grandchildren's art renderings. Thoughts of company coming this weekend and the need to clean my home gave little room for musing about the backyard. All I saw was the need to mow the lawn, the desire to secure my hammock before my friend arrived on Saturday. Then...
...then my granddaughters came to visit. They skittered to the patio doors and spotted the giant multi-colored foxgloves. Maroon, magenta, peach, and pink. They saw the purple Rose of Sharon. The "oohs and aahs" punctuated the air with awe and wonder.
"Grama, did you know you had flowers out there?" Haylee informed me. "Can we pick some?" Within moments she and Kinsey emptied a basket of its wooden blocks and found their scissors and headed out the door. Normally, I would grab my camera and follow them. Yesterday I simply slid the door closed to keep out the flies and bees and headed back to my recliner, grabbed a tissue and waited out my three-minute coughing spasm. My head hurt. My chest hurt. My stuffy nose leaked out of my eyes as tears covered my cheeks.
I sat there thinking how little I cared about flowers. But how wonderfully warm and soothing it felt to have my granddaughters visiting. Their mom had kept them at bay for days because I'd been feeling so lousy. And now, their enthusiasm and joy touched a need inside me I had not realized was there. I knew the girls would soon bounce through the doors with their basket of glory, so I got up and went to the kitchen and filled a clear bowl with water. I went back to my recliner, blew my nose and waited.
Before the afternoon was over we'd had a teaparty, sat cuddled together watching Popeye and Ben Ten, drank hot chocolate and talked about Vacation Bible School coming up next week. Haylee was particularly excited.
"I can hardly wait. We are going exploring. It won't be like when we went to Australia and saw the animals, or the other year when we, uh...I can't remember now, but we are going to some place new."
"I think you are going to New York this year," I informed.
"WHAT! Wow, that will be fun! That's where the big buildings are, and...", and on and on she exolled all she knew about New York City. "But we don't really go there," she reminded me, "we just explore it in pretend."
I thought about that precious moment. The wonder of a child. The expectations. Life. Joy oozed out of every pore. Kinsey was caught up in the excitement even though she had no idea why. Joyous memories of past VBS explorations thrilled Haylee and provoked undiluted positive anticipation. Oklahoma's heat didn't matter. Insects didn't matter. And I'm certain if she had a Summer cold, it would not matter. Life was a bouquet of grandeur and a rainbow of promise.
Oh, to be young again. Oh, to let my spirit ride the wings of butterflies and bumble bees.
Later, when the chatter, the joy and the busyness of two little girls surrendered to the stillness of the house, I could not help but stop and try to smell the blossoms in the middle of my dining room table. I'd been all but blinded to the array of maroon, magenta, purple and pink blossoms before my granddaughters came to visit.
"From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger." Psalm 8:2
What a blessing to have the lips of children. The hope in their hearts. God knew this day would come when Satan tried to rob me of health, to blind me to the blessings of His glory. God knew that when each seed from every flower in my backyard died last fall and burst forth in new life this Spring that the girls would come and marvel at their splendor. God knew they'd offer praise because of the enemies in my life--weariness, illness, and depression. He knew. And so He prepared for this day for me to see the blossoms of His love.
How about you? Do you see Him today? I hope so.
PRAYER: Lord, give those who are weary. Those who are blinded by the sin of life. Those who cannot lift their eyes. Give them a child to come and show them the way...to offer praise for Your goodness...to remind them of Your watchcare and to silence the foe and avenger in their lives.