Standing on the garden path, I thought the summer’s sun had tricked my mind— a kind of feverish delusion— as the flowers whispered, “Listen.” I leaned in closer, straining to discern what I had heard. There it is was again! “Listen.” My heart heard it, distinctly. “God, I may be going mad,” I said. “Your flowers are speaking to me.”
“They have much to tell you if you pay attention,” He answered.
“What do they want me to know?” I asked.
“They will tell you,” He said, gently.
I sat down on the pathway, the pavers almost too hot for comfort. But there I sat, expectantly.
“We are God’s smiles,” they said. “His laughter, too. He created us for your enjoyment, that you might know the bliss in His heart.”
I nodded, amazed.
“Every blossom holds the story of creation, reaching back to the beginning of time, for we were there before God hung the sun and the moon in the heavens,” they whispered. “When you look upon us, you look upon the goodness of God, which is inherent in all things.”
I rose, the heat from the pavers too much to bear any longer. The flowers moved with the wind as the afternoon breeze came in off the ocean, cooling down me and the garden.
“Thank you,” I said. Silently, they nodded and went about being the goodness that they are; the goodness that is in all of God’s creation.
I stared at the keyboard, groping for the right words to type. Nothing came to mind. Nothing at all. “I can’t write today,” I sighed and closed my laptop. I snapped the leash onto Shakepear’s harness and off we went down the street, hoping I’d feel more creative upon our return.
God joined us, walking along beside me. He didn’t say a word but silently matched my steps. I was glad for the quiet—I wasn’t in the mood to speak. We walked our usual route, stopping at all the places Shakespeare likes to sniff. Finally, on the last few steps, before we reached home, I said, “God, sometimes I worry that people will read what I’ve written and think it’s no good.”
“You won’t always write well and that’s okay. Failure is part of the creative process for everyone,” God answered. “Keep exploring your creative edges and don’t worry what people think. Write what’s in your heart.”
“You’re sure about this?” I asked.
“Well, I am God, knower of all things,” He said and winked.
I laughed. The three of us went inside. Shakes curled up in his dog bed, and God and I sat at my desk, and together we opened my laptop and wrote the right words.
“Carry each other’s burdens…”
A humpback whale struggled to stay afloat off of the San Francisco coastline near the Golden Gate Bridge. She had gotten tangled in a web of fishing lines and crab pots. She was floundering and would surely die. A fisherman spotted her and radioed for help. A group of scuba divers came to her rescue. They dove deep below her and cut all of the lines that pulled her towards her demise. When they finally freed her, she swam in circles, celebrating her second chance at life. Before she made her way back out to deeper waters, she swam up to every diver and gently nudged them. They knew she was saying “thank you!”
May we all know the deep joy of giving and receiving that which sets us free, love.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others…”
“I want you to be a light for others,” God told me on our morning walk together.
“I thought I was already,” I said, rather defensively. God laughed, as He is apt to do when He talks with me.
“Yes, but I want you to really shine now. Really burn.”
“What about burning?” I asked. I wasn’t thrilled with the word.
“The work of being a candle is that it has to burn in order to share its light,” God explained.
“You want me to burn?” I asked. I’m sure God could hear the concern in my voice.
“I want you to burn with my love for you. I want you to be on fire with the Holy Spirit. I want you to shine so bright that other’s hearts will be illuminated.”
“So, it’s a metaphor, this fire you speak of,” I said, relieved.
“Of course it is Sparrow,” God smiled. ” I want you to fall even more in love with me. I want you to trust me even more than you do.”
“How do I do that?” I asked.
“I’ll help you,” He said gently as He rested His hand on my shoulder.
God wants you to do the work of burning for Him, too. To share your light with others, you’ve got to be on fire for God. It doesn’t happen on its own; you’ve got to strike the match. Ignite your reality with God.