Joyce Carol Oates, famous author, once commented that she never gave her writing much thought, especially her part in it…she was simply doing what came naturally to her….“I’m the garden hose water flows through.”
Isn’t that true of all of us? No matter what passions, talents, or expertise we are given…we are simply God’s vessel through which our unique gifts are allowed to flow out to others, just as their vessels flow back to us.
As you can see from the title photo…I was out watering last evening the yellow mandevilla and admiring my new wooden “frame” fence decor. I ordered it months ago and it must have gotten lost in transit…suddenly the door bell rang yesterday and the UPS man handed me the package.
It had been so long I had forgotten I even ordered it. It was just a plain little wooden frame with no picture. But there was something in its simplicity that spoke to me. I grabbed my hammer and a nail and attached it to the fence.
The simple little empty frame can contain any picture or pictures I wish to imagine…flower pictures or garden or sky pictures…the only limit to what it can depict is my own imagination. If the yellow mandevilla takes off climbing one day…it is quite possible a true-life picture will develop with yellow flowers falling through the frame slots…a 3-D taste of nature. I can hardly wait!
Besides saying “rabbit” on the first day of July I really haven’t appreciated July perhaps like I should have. It has actually been a little more bearable this year than some summers I can remember…with rain showers to cool the temperatures off and surprisingly cool fronts getting the temps back in the 80’s …which is cool weather for the lowcountry in July.
Gin-g sent me a sweet daily devotion on the significance of daily greetings that we never think about as we go into automatic pilot with automated responses… like “Hello”… “How are you”… or “Good-bye.” There is always a story behind every word and expression we use…which I find fascinating.
Let’s look at “Hello.”
.It turns out that “hello” is a contraction of the old English greeting “whole be thou.” The original greeting conveys two important messages. On the one hand is the wish that the other person be whole in body, mind and spirit. On another level, “whole be thou” acknowledges a spiritual truth. It reminds us that the other person, and every person, is already whole.
When we initiate a greeting saying “Hello” or commenting that we are fine to another’s “How are you”… have you ever wondered if you really are fine….not physically but spiritually?
Scripture tells us what the criteria is for assessing this comment and our response. It is so short…I think we can all remember it.
When Jesus was asked, “How do I know I am doing well spiritually?” He answered: 37 …‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Matt 22:37-40
Thank you Jesus for giving us such a simple and complete list.
- Love God
- Love people.
Like my simple little open wooden frame…we can fill our lives with happiness and joy or sadness and despair…our own picture is painted each day by our own actions and choices.
So until tomorrow…before we respond to these daily ritual greetings (“Hello” or “How are you?”) this morning or any morning…let’s ask ourselves…Am I showing God’s love this morning by loving people… as God asked us to do? We are all God’s children and loved by Him.
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh