Wednesday, February 11, 2015
“I must have flowers, always, and always.” ― Claude Monet
The picture at the right is of a flower bed that Karen had made a month or two ago so that in the mornings and evenings we would have flowers that we could not ignore as we sat outside our bedroom. They are beautiful—and fragile. They are like the children here whose smiles, laughter, and songs fill the morning air and lift our souls as if they were attached to the balloons of those children’s sounds. They remind us every day that we can build a place for them, nourish them, and in return they reward us with their particular beauty and fragility. If we nourish them, protect them, feed them, teach them, encourage them, and love them—they become like butterflies, flowers that have wings as they carry their beauty with them back into their mud brick homes with no power and no running water. They also bring the promise of joy for the future, a joy that will probably come long after Karen, John, and I are no longer here to see it, but our seeing it is not as important as our planting, weeding, watering, pruning, and enjoying what we can see now. Flowers don’t last forever, but they beget other flowers such that everything we do now for these children, these “flowers of God” will grow and thrive and bring life and light to the future of this country. We hear them singing of God’s love early in the morning, and they know, I mean they know, that God loves them. They have the conviction that so many of us lack that they are truly blessed, loved by God, and protected and nurtured by other members of God’s family. If we have done nothing else in our lives or do nothing else in the future, we are blessed because of what we have done for these. Yes, we have problems, ailments, diseases, aches and pains, inconveniences, and things that go wrong, but the things we have done for these children are worth it all and then some. A shy smile, a wave, or just hearing their laughter as they run to the school every morning is blessing enough for our labors here. We should all be so blessed.