Thursday, August 7, 2014

Overcoming the Love of the Plastic Easter Egg

The baby bird was barely alive. The children felt a need to take it inside, give it water, and try to nurture it back to health. The baby bird died. The children were very sad and couldn’t understand why it had to die. An adult put the baby bird in a one half of a plastic Easter egg . “We can close the egg up and bury the bird right here in the flower garden,” the children were told.

“Bury him in my plastic Easter egg?” the child asked. Can we take him out of the egg, and bury him in something else so I can have my egg back?”

We have all the sounds and symbols of compassion down pretty good. And we can be moved with pity – that is - unless it were to cost us something: unless it costs us one our plastic Easter eggs. A child’s plastic egg viewpoint might be understood, but could it be we are more and more becoming more in love with what we have that is plastic, more impressed by our own bells and whistles than loving our neighbors as ourselves. Do we ever really deny ourselves anything. What plastic Easter egg am I willing to bury in the spirit of love and concern for others?

Denial-less love: is it love at all? Or, is our love a ruse we unconsciously perform to maintain the illusion of our own goodness? Oh yes, we have such compassion. We love so deeply and truly – that’s the spin. But do we really only love until it might cost us something? Can we truly love, and not want our plastic Easter egg back? I think we should: with God’s help, I think we can.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Praise God for the Bloom

The time of the bloom when a rush of nature’s beauty bursts forth. The preparation through youth and inexperience culminate in the bloom of life. That special time when health and vigor peak in our lives: when the petals of our flower open to consummate in beauty and ultimately bear fruit, then wither to die, leaving a seed of legacy, bearing bloom instructions for the next generation.

As an aging-up athlete and child of God, I can see this in myself. As my bloom fades into history, I can look toward others just blooming and appreciate - live the bloom vicariously within, and praise God for the bloom, the fruit.

For now, I am an old dead plant, stiff, and brown, standing against the winter in life, as if to say I am still sturdy. I bloomed in my time. My empty seed husk bears witness my life bore fruit in due season. And, my life is still speaking, still growing my legacy in that I am still standing; still remembering my bloom-time; counting my blessings; praising God for the bloom; praising God for the withered plant, the seed of hope, and the revelation of eternity through life and death and resurrection to eternity through Jesus Christ.