The seed is the word of God.
All night long the rain tapped at my windows. And I, unable to surrender into sleep’s embrace, tossed and turned to its gentle metronome. A family of skunks foraged for food under the pear trees. I heard them eagerly squealing as they sorted through the grass for seeds the birds had dropped from the feeders. I envied their simple lives. They didn’t stay awake in their dens pondering the problems of the world. A single seed was enough to delight them.
I considered getting out of bed to light the fire which had burned out hours ago. Instead, I pulled the blankets tighter to me. “It’s going to be a long night,” I whispered to God.
“No longer than any others,” God replied gently. “What do you need? How can I help you?”
“I need to know that everything will be alright. That the world isn’t going to hell in a handbasket,” I answered. “I need to know that you really care about us down here.”
“I’m not up above, looking down. I’m there among you,” He said. “I’m in your heart. In your soul. I’m in the eyes of the strangers that you meet. If you knew my river of love that flows, you’d be fast asleep. Trust that I’m moving through all of life. Today, tomorrow, always,” God said with such tenderness that my eyes filled with tears.
I pressed God’s words to my heart. No need for me to worry. He’s here, connecting us with His love. I relaxed and closed my eyes for sleep and promised myself I’d learn to take delight in a single seed.
“The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come…”
~Song of Solomon 2:12
I’ve walked the streets of my neighborhood for years. I know the front yards of many of my neighbors. Being an avid gardener, I am always looking at other’s landscaping. So it was with great surprise this morning that I noticed white camellia blossoms on the ground in a yard just a few doors down from my house. I had never noticed the bush before! It was tucked away against a wall and partly hidden behind a rather large tree. I felt as if I had discovered a new treasure. I was delighted. I walked on and pondered why, in all of the years walking past that house, I had never been consciously aware of the plant. What else might I be missing in my life? What else might be hiding in plain sight?
I thought of many things that I probably don’t see all of the time; people’s goodness and courage came to mind. What else? I asked myself. I often don’t see God’s grace and abundance. I overlook His forgiveness. I also fail to see that I am a part of this creation on equal footing with every animate and inanimate thing. I’m not special. I’m simply a part of the whole. I’m sure that I don’t always see my character defects or shortcomings.
I rejoiced for having seen the camellia. It made me realize I’m not seeing quite a bit in my life. It opened my eyes to God’s incredible glory and to things I’d like to change within myself. What might be hiding in plain sight in your life?
“We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.”
This morning, I picked a bouquet of fall flowers and put them on my desk. Each blossom was beautiful in its own way. All throughout the day, I admired their colors: yellows, oranges, purples, and greens. The colors were softer, duller than the spring and summer blooms that were bright and bold. I liked this quieter palette. It suited the shorter days and the slowing down from the activities of the warmer months.
I thought about how important color is in God’s creation. It attracts mates. It repels predators. It delights us in unexpected ways. I thought about how focused we’ve become on color the past few days. Red and blue have been hot topics this election week. How we voted suddenly determines how people react to us, as if our political views totally define us. (They don’t.) I thought about the deep divide in our country and wondered how it is going to heal. How will we come together, instead of standing apart?
We certainly can’t heal and unite if we continue to see red and blue when we look at each other. We have to see flesh and bones. We are all human being with the same wants, desires, and needs; the need to be heard. The need to be seen. The need to be understood. The need to be respected, and the need to be loved.
Let’s see each other’s true colors—our beautiful souls— as belonging to God and to each other, instead of seeing our politics, religion, or any other label that would set people apart as “other.” There is no other. There is only us.