Monday, March 14, 2011

To the Lord Alone. . .

The campus of the hospital where I work has been planted with many Bradford pear trees.  I love these trees.  In the fall, I love their fiery red leaves.  In the spring I love their tiny white flowers.

The thing I love best about these trees in bloom is not when they are full of blossoms, however, it is when the tiny petals begin to turn loose and cover with ground with a blanket of white.

The ironic thing is that this only happens once the blossom begins to die and the petals let go of the tree.  Then they become a soft, beautiful carpet for my feet.

What a simple and beautiful lesson of the Christian life from the Lord's creation this is for me.  The path of the righteous is the path of humility, the path of the lowly and meek.

In a favorite book of mine, a young character learns by everything around her in nature that it is "good to go low", that humility is better than pride.  She hears the sound of the bubbling brook as it rushes downward toward the sea.  She sees the droplets jump with joy as they fling themselves with elation lower and lower.  Their joy is in the humility of lowliness -- in being just what the Lord has created them to be, nothing more, nothing less.

She sees the little flowers that bloom in the starkness of the desert.  She wonders how the wild flowers that are not seen my men can know the joy that their song expresses.  The wild flowers have a wonderful lesson to teach. They offer themselves willingly with no one to appreciate them. They sing their joyous song to the Lord, happy to love Him alone, even though they are never loved or appreciated by anyone else.  They know God loves their song.

We are like the wildflowers, like the droplets, like the beautiful white petals of the pear trees I love.  There are times the Lord puts us in places of quiet, places where we feel unappreciated, unloved, unnoticed.  There are times we feel as if there is no one else who will ever hear our song, will never know how hard we worked or how strongly we held to the tree. 

Sometimes we wonder at the low places.  But it is "good to go low".  It is in the low places we find the footprints of our Lord.  It is in the shadowed places we begin to hear the songs in the night He writes in our soul.  It is in those places, those times that we can know His peace, His joy, His fulfillment unlike anything we will ever find anywhere else.  Often, the most wonderful times, the most melodic songs, the most beautiful flowers in our lives come in those times that only the Lord sees and knows. 

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