Weekly Uplift-October 5, 2021

Last week was filled with death.  I stepped into my front yard and noticed that the Shasta Daisies were completely exhausted from a summer of explosion.  Throughout June, July, and August, they just kept coming.  Bright white flowers standing tall, declaring that this spot is holy.  But last week, they were done.  Everything is given a time to bloom.  The daisies hadn’t wasted theirs.

So, I got out my shears and dead-headed the whole bunch.  I showed no mercy because I knew that once a thing has finished, it’s time to cut it back.  That helps that bulb store up the plant’s energy, saving it for the Spring when the earth warms and calls forth its beauty.

And there they stood, empty stalks where there had been verdant growth.  Only memories remain to fill the long winter ahead.

Last week, too, a long-time member of First Christian Church, Patty harsh, died.  As I met with her family, I came to know Patty – the woman of faith who devoted herself to her family, friends, and her career. 

People think it’s odd when I say, of all the parts of ministry, I enjoy funerals the most.  But it’s true.  And that’s because funerals are “love letters” from-and-to the person being celebrated.  It helps when the family has wonderful stories to share.  (Patty’s family had many of those.)  But even when I don’t know the person… even when the family is quiet – or absent… there is always something that speaks to their unique gifts, their force upon the world.  God sends the light, and they help it to shine.

When I came home from Patty’s celebration of life, something caught my eye – a flash of white in a sea of green.  I went to examine and found a surprise: three daisies persisted, sprouting and blooming after I had given up all hope.  Three blossoms – a trinity of surprise.  And I smiled, knowing that the Master Gardener holds a surprise for each of us after we think death has conquered all.

Patty, and all who love God, grow for our time, providing beauty in the vineyard where we are planted.  And then life cuts us down.  Outwardly, it appears that the world is filled with death.  We mourn.  Our shoulders sag under the weight of it. 

And then, one last surprise!  The Triune God raises us up, and resurrection breaks forth. 

May your gardens be filled with love.  May you cherish the blossoms.  But never forget, the bloom continues.

Blessings,

Pastor Sue

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