Different types of stories might move each of us – for me, noticing funny things as they happen makes the world seem alive and sparkly. For you it may be more serious, more artistic, maybe even more melancholy. That’s okay. Telling stories helps us – it helps us process and understand and mourn and celebrate, and it helps us understand who we are and how we fit in to something bigger. So I want us to tell stories.
There they stood, beaming. Surrounded by a huge circle of “flowers” they had picked for me. Mind you, these “flowers” are Joel’s constant ongoing frustration as he wants to kill said “flowers”; but to me they were the most beautiful flowers of all, (shown at the top), the rest are Gigi and Hawk’s much more beautiful weeds) because they were picked with giddy love. Picked by hands and hearts that were proud to give them to me, dearly loved children who wanted to make me smile.The longer I stood on my front porch the more it slowly became covered by weeds and dirt, the more my mind drifted to thinking of how God must feel when we bring to Him, our good deeds. The best we have to offer from our hearts filled with giddy love. How He must delight when we come with our flimsy, pesky weeds of deeds and say “Father! Surprise! Happy Birthday, for pretend!!” I can only imagine how these humble offerings must make Him chuckle as He graciously accept our best efforts.There was another offering I remembered. Last year, around the time when the “flowers” start to grow, in the middle of a terrifying and destructive rage, my boy saw his brand new mom burst into tears for the first time. Another explosion was more than I could handle. He saw my tears and flipped like a switch, jumped up off my lap, walked out into the yard, picked a partially rotten camellia off a bush in our backyard, ran up to me and said with begging eyes, “Will this make you happy? Will this make you okay?”
My heart shattered again in a deeper way as I realized his core belief was the same as mine. The norm of humanity. Trying harder. Doing better.
He wants us. In the midst of our ugly, aside from the striving, apart from the performance, He wants us. Effortlessly us. Because Jesus made all the effort for us. He knew we wouldn’t come through for Him. So He came all the way through for us.
What a difference a year makes in the offering of these flowers and all the difference love and security make on the attitude of our hearts. Only secure children can offer in love. Insecure children can only offer in manipulation to get reconciliation in return.
So, if you find yourself picking “flowers” for the Father this week, examine the heart motivation behind your labors. And I pray that you, like a secure child can offer yourself today with joy knowing you are safe, loved and accepted.
And on a less than poetic note, on this particular day Hawk came out to tell us that the field had just been sprayed with poison to kill all the flowers we’d been rolling around in…off to the bathtub we went!
I think it’s safe to say the metaphor fell apart… or maybe it’s an imputed righteousness thing. Or maybe/definitely it’s past my bedtime. I want to hear your stories! Share them below! Mwah.