She picked a daffodil.
As the farmer from down the road drove his tractor through our south field, she and I strolled through the front gardens together smelling spring flowers.
The one she picked?
Flower head drooped, stem bent close to the top.
We can relate, these days.
She raised the golden trumpet to her nose as the farmer’s metal tines dug down, tore up, turned over, and crumbled the earth.
Farmers know they must tear up and break down before they can plant and grow.
And the bent stems, the downturned faces? What can be done with them—with us?
Next day, the farmer came back with his tractor, bins full of seed, and sowed acres of oats and hay.
The oats are his.
The hay is ours.
He will harvest in August to sell and provide for his family.
We must wait a whole cycle of seasons.
Because hay fields take time to grow. And they need proper support to flourish—a softened seed bed, the shade of strong and quicker growing oats to support and protect tender grass shoots from searing sun that can burn out the fragile. Fertilizing and weeding in fall—and again in spring.
In short, some plants take more tending that others. And some of the most beautiful are the most fragile. So it goes with differing lives.
Some take more tender care.
Some are more resilient.
Some reap early.
Some must wait.
With all, we trust—there will be a glory harvest of all.
I saw our sameness in the plucked bloom. Transparent and fragile. Bent stem. Need of extra support to stand and raise face, letting rays of sun shine through to reveal beauty full.
Hardy or sensitive, resilient or fragile, don’t we all need some extra support sometimes? Don’t we all need some extra tending?
But do we ask?
And can we receive?
Do others see?
And do others offer?
Is this not the true love of Christ to care for the bent and broken, to lift up their heads and hold them with hope?
Shall we not tape and strengthen and stand with the weak?
Are we not made to offer extra grace when required instead of judgment and condemnation for mysteries we do not understand?
We wonder as parents—right now—right here . . .
All the preparation—the education, the life lessons learned, the faith developed and applied.
Is this our harvest?
All the hard work.
Is this our final outcome?
All this tending and waiting?
Is it worth it?
We are in a season of waiting.
Just keeping it real, trusting—HOPING—we’re not the only ones who think and feel this way—sometimes—even if we’re not so darn spiritually mature.
We’re waiting for medications to work. Adjusting types and dosages. Hoping for symptom reduction without losing the heart and soul of one we love so dearly. Trying to educate others who know nothing of invisible challenges affecting mind, soul and body. Feeling oh so sad that certain people we hoped would care in tangible ways—even with one empathic word—have proved unwilling or unable. Feeling oh so shocked and blessed and gloriously joyous that people who hardly know us and others who know us well are reaching out and practically begging to help—to do ANYTHING we need—just to love!
We are overwhelmed with grace and love.
Lesson learned . . .
Never, EVER expect God to show up the way you expect.
God works in mysterious ways through people we never dreamed might care. His ways are higher than ours and ALWAYS more glorious!
I received a card today in the mail from a woman I’ve known for many, many years. I wouldn’t say we’re close friends. But she’s a solid Christ-lover who loves as Christ. And her daughter and ours were in the same class for a few years when they were six and seven years old. They are now in their early twenties.
(Yes Mom, dearly beloved and now passed on—I do wear my heart on my sleeve.)
I did cry when I opened the envelope and read her card just now and took in fully her handwritten words, sincerely given . . .
“Praying for all of you, Heather. Please let me know if I can be of assistance to you in any way. I’m here to help.”
Really? She hardly knows me! Our paths have not crossed in decades!
Knowing her even slightly, I know she has NO idea how much her card and her handwritten words have soothed this sore soul. And she wouldn’t care one bit if I told her because, knowing her, she would give all the glory and praise to our God who nudged her to buy the card and handwrite a few lines and tuck it into envelope and lick it closed and place the stamp and write our address and walk it down her drive to the mailbox.
Someone would take such time—for her—for me—for us?
I am amazed—humbled—sincerely grateful.
She has already helped, more than she will ever know, this side of heaven.
Because to know you are loved enough to offer so much when known so little—this is Christ with skin on to me. It’s not the big and obvious things we do for others that show the greatest love. Sometimes it’s the smallest efforts, the sincerest hearts that do the most good—that heal the broken and raise their heads just a bit.
A sincere word spoken.
Just being fully present and open to the breath of God flowing through, nudging a loving response.
That’s all that’s needed.
So I’m clicking keys here through tears, thanking God for His great grace given through so many tender souls of late.
And I will not linger on those who have disappointed with their own disabilities—their own inabilities to give proper care in such a time as this. God will work with them in His own way, in His own time.
I am learning that when I accept and give thanks for ALL gifts of God, no matter how and through whom delivered—I am truly, fully loved. And I am truly, fully satisfied. Because I am truly, fully letting go of needing, wanting, demanding that those I think should love us—should love us. Because maybe they do, somehow. But the reality is, maybe they don’t love us in the way we need.
And it’s OK.
Because love is not a limited commodity.
Not with God.
Love is ever-flowing and abundant.
We only stop the flow of love when we demand love come through certain conduits, certain others, in certain ways, in certain times.
When we let go and let God flow—our God who IS love—we receive abundantly, more than we can even contain, until we are spilling out and onto others in need.
This is crazy awesome!
This is the way to live a TRUE LIFE WITH GOD AND OTHERS!
This acquaintance of mine—the woman I knew years ago when my daughter who is currently bent and so is her mother and father and two brothers? This woman, and all those like her offering sincere love—they are the transparent tape that holds us together—that holds us up—that help us turn our faces to our Father, giving thanks in times of greatest need—in times of greatest unknowns. There are so many things I don’t know.
But one thing I know for sure.
God is NOT dead.
He is surely ALIVE!
And His spirit dwells within those who are hospitable to Him and His ways.
And all His ways are sincerely loving.
Thank you Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!
Thank you indwelt friends who are our TRUE FAMILY!
And we, as a family, are going to see God Is Not Dead, the movie, in Cedarburg, where this woman who sent me the card lives—where we once lived. And I can hardly contain my joy, even in the midst of mania nearing the point of another hospitalization.
I am just trying to be transparent here—transparently taped in love—hoping—praying—that someone—anyone out there who needs such care—will hold on.
Love is on it’s way.
Raise the golden trumpet.