Thursday, June 16, 2016

Finding Beauty

Get out and smell the flowers.

I love to garden.  I've written about this before and yet, today I am reminded of the glory of being in the dirt and tending to my small garden.

This week I have had a variety of emotions.  These feelings have been all over the map as I listened and read commentaries and ponder the events that have happened in Orlando and other places in the world.  To be honest, this week as I talked with God I told him, "what were we thinking when we thought about having children?"  I just felt overwhelmed with the magnitude of the changes in culture and the raising of a young child. 

How will she fare?  Will she stay firmly grounded in God's love and truth?  Will she be overcome with cultural dictatorship or will she know her Kingdom is eternally set?  Will she foster love in her heart to those who may act on their fear and spew hate?

These questions I cannot answer, but I felt like the Lord tell me "Kenny, don't worry!  Trust that I will continue to finish the work I started in her, just like I am doing for you!"

I can handle that God!  I don't need to have all the answers, nor do I need to know the end result, I just need to trust you.  In this uncertain time in culture, I decided to just get up and move.  I simply got up and went outside and began walking in my tiny garden.  The poppies and lilies, mock orange and peonies are all in bloom and I began to tend the garden.  I made flower arrangements...for no reason but to have beauty in our house.

Essentially, I went out and began smelling the flowers.  It came with making a decision to get up and move and find beautify in the midst of fear and hatred that I sense all around me.

Not just in nature, but in others, there lies beauty.  Sometimes this beauty is hidden in fear, and in some beauty has turned evil, anger and hate filling them with an inability to see good and beauty in others.  Here, the enemy of life has stolen something that was once a treasure to be fostered and embraced.

Today, as you go about your day, take note of the beautiful treasure that lives in you.  Relish the fact that you have been fearfully and wonderfully made, and in this place you are a gift to others around you.  Don't just stop there, but begin to look for the treasure in others.  Is it hidden?  Does it need encouragement to come out of hiding?  Does it need a good dose of JOY and LOVE?  Look for opportunities to bless rather than curse, to love rather than hate. 

Practical ways to do it you say?

When you're in the coffee line, pay for the next persons coffee, tea or whatever!  Pick up some flowers and give them away. (just don't rob people's gardens please!)  Tell someone they are loved and they have value.  Make a meal for someone, offer to babysit, do something practical.  Practice hospitality, invite people over, do a good deed, visit the sick, go to a personal care home and cheer someone up.  Ask someone how they are doing...really doing!  You never know what will come up, and then ask to pray for them.

Be creative and love.  For love covers over a multitude of stuff...and it really does make a difference.

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