On my way to a Community Action Board meeting in Centerville, Tennessee this morning I passed the sign pictured above. It is located in an overgrown, mostly dead, unattractive piece of land in the middle of nowhere.
I arrived early to the meeting and sat in a room waiting for the other members. Pinned to a bulletin board was a piece of paper which read; “Being a Parent Means Loving Your Children More than You Love Yourself.”
My mind went back to the sign I saw earlier. I wondered who put it there and what their vision of the “Children’s Garden” was originally? What happened? What stopped the seeds from being planted, watered, grown, cultivated, harvested?
I thought about our world and the world our children, and our children’s children, will grow up in. What happened to giving future generations something better than what we have? What happened to the dream of a brighter tomorrow? Where are the seeds of hope, the light that grows, the love and grace that cultivates, the harvest of peace?
Maybe if we loved our children more than we love ourselves…
“…desire truth in your deepest parts; learn wisdom in the inmost place.”
My Friday Lauds (morning prayer) always include Psalm 51. This poem/song is recited on Good Friday, the Friday before Easter Sunday, and is read by contemplatives, oblates, monks, and others every Friday in remembrance of the most Holiest of days when Jesus mounted the cross.
Following Lauds I like to take a stroll through the yard prayerfully, meditating and mindfully breathing the prayer phrase to myself. (To the observing eye no doubt it looks as if I am talking to myself. Add this to the growing list as why our neighbors think we are strange southern folk!) As I ambled reflectively I noticed a poor, struggling rose bush with one lone blossom. It is surrounded, choked?, by a vine, rooted next to a wall, not in a good place for light, failing at being beautiful, yet still growing where it’s planted.
“Repentance is the voluntary endurance of all afflictions.”
The wonderful quote above, from Saint John Climacus, is in regard to confession and humility, but might it also be said of wisdom and truth? If we were the bush would we demand to be replanted, complain about our surroundings, see one bloom as a failure, or would we see perfection?
Wisdom and truth reveal to us that the purpose of the rose bush is to bloom and it is doing what it is intended to do. Nature doesn’t judge how many, how beautiful, what other rose bushes are doing. The rose bush isn’t worried about the vine, the wall, the lack of sun, or someone’s opinion of its beauty.
“…desire truth in your deepest parts; learn wisdom in the inmost place”
What if life is not vainly trying/striving to make everything around us fit our idea of perfection, our paradigm of what life should be, but rather simply growing, blooming where we are planted?
May truth and wisdom find a home in the deepest part of you.
peace and grace,