This picture has always captivated me. I remember looking at this plant and thinking, I need to get rid of this “dead” plant. Then I saw this beautiful flower, almost as if defying the dead, brittle branches around it. Standing straight, showcasing its beauty.
This “walk through the valley of the shadow of death” is incomprehensible. No way can I even try to explain “it” nor do I want to. However, I do need to keep on “walking”, “moving”, “living”. I have choices and decision to make.
Several quotes have captured my attention: “Suffering is a gift. May we suffer well.” * “No matter how dark it gets, love and hope are always possible.” * “Suffering is a gift; in it hidden mercy.” * “Life will continue, will you let it come in?”
My daughter’s race is finished, but mine is not. Will I “live” in a manner that “showcases” my hope and trust in a Living God? Will I stand straight and firm upon the promises of a God that does all things well? Will I “showcase” the beauty of the cross, the hope of the resurrection, the trust in the God who is, who was and who is to come? By the amazing, keeping grace of God – I believe so! I am willing! AND because He lives, I can face tomorrow, and I can rejoice in the LORD today!
What if I am different?
What if I am different than “you”?
I like spicy, flavorful Mexican food, so my hot dog will not have the “regular” ketchup and mustard, but will be overloaded with bacon, onion, tomatoes and jalapeños.
I will take a quiet, peaceful walk in the mountains over a sandy beach.
I would rather sit with “you” in a quiet place, and eat and talk and laugh and cry. Than be in a group, frazzled by all the chattering noise.
Solitude is my friend, my rest; the place where I can just be. I don’t have to be rescued from it. It doesn’t mean I’m shutting down, heck I can shut down in a crowded place.
We are all different. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made. The beauty in a collage with all the different faces, colors and sequence.
There is beauty in differences! There is peace in just being me!
Remember the Dad I told you about?
Allow me to tell you another story. A story about a Father.
Once upon a time there was a Father who had two sons. His youngest son started to get an itch for seeing what was out beyond the home front. So he went to his Father and asked for his share of the inheritance. Funny thing to ask, don’t you think? The “normal” course of life is that one gets an inheritance when the person giving it to you has passed. Anyhow, you can see this son was itching to get out from under his Father.
The Father agreed and off the son went.
And, live it up the son did! Partied and squandered all that the Father gave him and then some. He ended up in the poor house, destitute. He “decides” to go home. He had no other choice. I believe if he did he would still be out “living la vida loca”.
He heads home, probably rehearsing what he will say to his Father.
“…while he [the son] was still a long way off, his Father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him…’Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again’…” -Luke 15:20-23
The contrast between Dad and this Father is night and day.
One Rejects! The other Embraces!
For the “girl” in me, this contrast has given me HOPE!
“A father’s love for his daughter is a preservative against a thousand ills seeking to infect the innocence of her life.” – Byron Yawn
Writing to heal, healing to write.
“…I write because to form a word with your lips and tongue or think a thing and then dare to write it down so you can never take it back is the most powerful thing I know…” ~ Natalie Goldberg