|Our calla lilies|
I love Spring.
I love the bright green of the new leaves on the trees, the blue of the skies and the flowers coming up and pushing their pretty faces to the sun.
Every day our dog Ellie and I review the flowers in the garden to see what is blooming, what is not (and why not?) and to see which plant the neighborhood cat has used as a bed this time. Last night she slept on a group of calla lilies which were young enough to have their stalks snapped in two.
I don't remember when the cat first arrived, but as long as I have had flowers in this bed, she has been thinking I literally mean bed. She has squashed all manner of flowers and each year I try some new trick to keep her from doing it. Ellie even tries to chase her away when she sees her outside, but the cat always comes back.
I realize the cat isn't maliciously trying to destroy my flowers. She is a cat that has no home and seeks what comfort she can. I feel sorry for her. After all, the lilies will come back up next year.
We all have people who come into our lives and in some way irritate, aggravate, annoy or disturb us. Perhaps they harm something we care for. Maybe they simply pose an inconvenience to us. Regardless of their intent, it will be a great temptation to give in to those initial feelings of resentment, irritation and disturbance. But those negatives present us with a great choice. A choice of faith. Will we believe that those feelings are the essence of who we are, or are we those who, by faith in the Lord Jesus, have His Holy Spirit abiding within us? The choice is ours and how we choose will determine how we respond.
But how we choose does not just affect us, it can also affect the person causing the disturbance in our lives. An act of undeserved mercy toward a person can often point them in the direction of the King of Mercy in a way all the sermons on the earth cannot. That one act of kindness may soften a hardened heart more than anything else.
I used to have a sign in my Dining Room that read,
"Only God and people are eternal. Everything else is just stuff."
What is the most important things in our interactions with others? First of all, knowing the Lord is at work in every moment of every person's life, drawing them closer to Himself. Secondly, that we are called to "walk as He walked" in love and kindness to others.
Everything else is just stuff...including calla lilies.