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Roses Are Red. Be a Yellow one

Roses are red… are they? You can go to the store and get a rose of almost any color. If you cannot find it at your local grocery store, I’m sure you can find it or order your desired color from a florist.

This world puts us in a box, or out of one for that matter. If you are not a red rose, you do not belong in the bouquet of other red roses.

At first, one might frown, look deep inside and ask why it is that they cannot be a red rose. Why they cannot fit inside the bouquet with all the others. They might even begin to wither away, losing all sense of worthiness. If they cannot belong to that, they cannot belong at all.

When the bouquet of flowers is picked up by a visitor, all they see is a bushel of red roses. A blurred together bunch without any notice to which one is which and how they differ.

How lucky we are, those of us who are not a red rose. Those who choose to be a yellow, orange, blue, pink, black or green rose among red, guarantees us the chance to stand out, to show our differences and to be noticed in the most humble of ways.

Not by our outer appearance of pedals or even color, but by the inner beauty and self-love that it takes to stand out among so many who choose to stand in amongst all the rest.

 

(Flowers seem to be an inspiration as of late, despite the lack of them in the midst of this cold midwest spring. But, as anything the Creator designed, there’s so much more to it than meets the eye. Stories and life lessons can come from anything. Thanks for reading and as always, please let me know what you think. ūüôā

Warmed by the Same Sun

I stare at the flower as it sways in the wind. It’s not alone. It has others swaying around it. First it swings back and forth with the breeze and they follow. They know its every move, they watch it, wanting to imitate it without fault.

It is red and delicate to these flowers, something they admire and attempt to gain themselves. It is beautiful and petite, not too small, not too big, perfect. Noticed.

I am but a weed, swaying in the same wind, doing the same movements, yet I am unoticed. I grow like the rest of them. The same soil that births it, gives me life too. I am warmed by the same sun. The same cool and refreshing rain, drops on me the same as it does on it. Yet I am not pulled for the same reason.

Why do I look like this and it like that?

 

 

Four Things

Four things I have learned throughout the last few weeks:

  • Things change
  • College is hard
  • Spring is taking forever to actually get here
  • God loves me despite my lack of quality time I have spent with him recently

That’s all. Just wanted my reader’s to know I am still alive!

 

 

Why Do You Weep, Willow?

As I sat under the willow tree I stared up wondering why the willow’s leaves fell down as if they were wilting. The other trees burst upward, reaching for the sky, unlike this one.

Why does this one weep? I thought.

As a eight-year-old¬†full of questions and not afraid of rejection, I looked at the tree and asked, “Why do you weep, willow?”

As I waited in silence I took in the green grass that swayed in the gentle summer breeze. I looked for jumping fish in the pond to the right. I saw baby birds as they chirped for the worm dangling in front of them. That’s when I heard the soothing, whispering sound coming from the tree that I rested against.

Turning around, I saw no one.

“For many reasons.” Said the voice.

As I looked around confused, my eyes returned to the tree where its trunk molded into a figure. The long dangling branches appeared to be hair. The leaves whisping around what looked to be ahead, then a body and two large branches that stemmed off as arms.

Her eyes, brown, reflected the green from her hair. What had been two knots in the wood had morphed into eyes. Her lips, a light brown, did not frown as the leaves did.

“What?” I asked, unsure if it was my imagination or reality.

“You asked me why I weep, did you not?” She asked in a gentle yet stern voice.

“I- I didn’t think you were alive.”

“You assume what many others do. However, not many have the courage to ask.”

“Well… then why do you weep?”

“For many reasons.”

I knew this already and was eager for more information.

“You already said that.”

“Yes.”

Clearly, I had been dreaming because this conversation wasn’t going anywhere. I pinched myself to wake up. But, she was still there when I opened my eyes.

“What’s one of the reasons?”

“Come back tomorrow and I’ll tell you.”

Before I could reply I watched as the tree transformed back to its original shape. Having seen the woman, I could still make out her shape, her eyes, and mouth, but she was now still and frozen.

I walked away, unsure about whether or not to return.

***

“You’ve come back” She said as I came upon her low-hanging leaves.

“I want to know why you weep.”

“I weep for the beauty my Creator has given.”

“Why would you cry because¬†something is beautiful? Isn’t that a good thing?” I asked.

“Not all who weep are sad.”

I looked at her, eyes squinted. All I had ever seen were sad tears, what other kinds could there be?

“You are not limited to sadness when you weep.”

“I’m always sad when I cry.” I responded.

“Yes, only because¬†you¬†have not felt a pure joy that only the Creator can bring you. Find this, and you will weep as I do.”

“How do you find the Creator?”

“Right in front of you.” She said¬†as one of her long thin branches stretched out revealing the hills, the pond, the tall wildflowers swaying, and the birds flying in and out of them.¬† “But also in here.” She said as one of her branches pointed to my chest.”

I looked down where one of the leaves touched the skin that covered my heart.

“How could something that makes you so happy you weep, live in me? I am not beautiful enough to make you weep.”

“But you are.”

“Who says?”

“The Creator Himself.”

With that, she transformed once again back to the tree.

I never saw her again but visited the tree often. I began to see the beauty she once told me of.

I began to weep and for the first time in my life, I understood why the willow wept as she did.

 

Florida High School Shooting

I ran as I watched it on the TV.

As I watched an event unfold that should tear us all to pieces.

But when I looked around, I saw nothing out of the ordinary.

A few glances at the TV, then right back to lifting weights, biking or staring at a screen.

As I ran and saw the headline “Florida High School Shooting” I got angrier.

I got to the point where I couldn’t just run, watch and wait as if that would do anything for the parents, husbands, wives, mothers, daughters, brothers to these students and faculty who probably stood there stunned by what they saw.

When I realized how upset I was and I looked around, I was more angry at myself and the people around me than I was at the event.

School shootings may be more common than ever, but that doesn’t mean they should be easier to forget. Just because I’m not from Florida doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be devastated¬†by this. Just because I didn’t know anyone personally, doesn’t mean my heart shouldn’t be shattered- and not for one second before I go back to doing my own thing.

Just because I have school, work, homework, meetings, doesn’t mean I can’t stop to recognize the devastation that is going on.

As I write this and hear laughter and conversations about other things I’m saddened. I’m saddened that a place such as a Christian university, I saw and heard of nobody taking a moment to stop what they were doing and just pray.

I’m saddened because people will see this on the news and be upset, but only as long as they want to be. Their phone will buzz and they might bring it up, but most likely, they’ll continue on with their conversation.

Lives, young lives, were lost today, and many before them in a crime that I will never understand. Lives were lost. Does that mean anything to us anymore?

As Christians, we’re told to pray about everything: Philippians 4:6.

Is that something we are committed to?

Are we so self-involved that we have forgotten how to care for our brothers and sisters that aren’t in our “bubble”? These people might be hundreds of miles away, but that doesn’t mean we should care less, pray less, listen less or love less.

I often wondered what people meant when they said Christians aren’t as unified as they could be. Now I can understand why that might be.

I hope that this article makes you feel hurt, sad and honestly convicted as I have felt. Convicted to remember that these are precious lives that in God’s eyes, are just as important as ours. None of our lives are more important than another, no matter the distance, the difference in culture, race, age, gender etc.

How much time are we willing to take away from our own lives, to think about others, to mourn, cry, hurt, pray and love with others during horrific moments like these.

I encourage you to think about these things, Christian or not. How careless are you willing to allow the society you live in, to be?