Choosing to Appreciate Pollen

A fine dusting of pollen covers the town today.  Everything bloomed at once in Pennsylvania, and it’s as if God shook down yellow fluff from the heavens.   It’s not just car windshields and house shutters; even inside the house, the golden film cloaks the furniture and linens. 

My allergies!  As I dust and vacuum and launder the bedding, I stop to consider what pollen actually is.  All this powder?  It’s the male part of the flower.  It’s the part of the flower that will connect with the female part to then germinate

Millions of microscopic grains await meeting just the right receptor site (on a compatible flower) for growth.   Right now, the air currents as well as insects disperse all this pollen.  Some of it will find the perfect conditions whereby, once matched, some astonishing flower or fruit will eventually burst forth.

I appreciate this widespread covering of pollen today.  It’s a hopeful gesture that maybe–just maybe–conditions will be favorable for germination.  Might I cast my ideas out so broadly?  Might I send out spores of creativity, encouragement, prayers, and love?  What if that particle happened to land at just the right sight where something amazing could grow from it? 

Who knows?  I think about how ideas germinate today.  Living with flair means we sow broadly because we can’t predict where and when pollination might happen. 

Meanwhile, I’ll never look at Spring dusting the same again. 

Journal:  What can I send out today that could grow into something amazing? 


When You Don’t Get Recognition

All day, I think about the verse in Colossians that implores, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”

Crocus Hiding in Snow

What does it mean to have a hidden life?

I wake up to a snowfall.  The forest that just yesterday made a glorious, boastful display of buds and bird nests and bullfrogs now stays silent, keeping secrets. 

It’s deathly quiet on the way to school.  Snow buries the crocus and daffodil shoots.  Oh, that I could bear the weight of a hidden life with such grace!  Oh, that I could see the beauty in this tomb of snow when I was expecting Spring’s grand performance!

What if we are hidden away at the moment when we’re supposed to bloom? 

The temptation to be seen, to be public and praised, to be recognized and valued loses its power when I think about what it means to be hidden.

Later, I stand in my kitchen.  I’m crying about hidden things:  the years behind us and the years ahead of us of invisible labor.  We do beautiful things today that nobody awards or congratulates.

But God sees.  Being a hidden treasure is a way to live with flair.  And the scriptures teach that God “who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Journal:  How is a life hidden in Christ our greatest blessing?


Some Pictures of Hope

The landscape in Pennsylvania, for the most part, still frowns with the weight of winter. 

Trees raise their arms in surrender to a blank sky.

After church this morning, my youngest daughter pulls on a double layer of pants and says, “Mom, let’s go on a hunt for daffodils.”  (How can I not follow her outside?  I’m struck by how I need to listen to and follow children more often.)

The hunt!  I put on my winter coat, and my old camera dangles from the strap around my wrist. 

We journey to the side of the house, the hidden territory in front of the gate.  With frozen fingers and faces, we hunt.

We hunt, and we find.

Lilies burst forth; daffodils announce victory over winter.

To hunt means to chase relentlessly.

Lord, let me be relentless in my hunt for hope. 

Journal:  What gives me hope today?