I babysit on Thursday afternoons.
Two kids – Laney, 3, and Nathan, 4.
They’re pretty much at awful ages. Lots of whining and crying and kicking each other. The occasional “accident.”
Loads of fun. (sarcasm)
Laney gets out of preschool at 11:30 and Nathan’s class lets out at 12. So every week she and I have half an hour to kill before we get brother. Depending on my mood (and my gas tank) we sometimes just drive around Auburn and listen to music. Other times we’ll roll the windows down, sit in the car in the parking lot, and play…usually peek-a-boo…its incredible how that child doesnt ever get sick of that game.
But yesterday was gorgeous outside, so we decided to take a walk around the church. You wouldn’t think that would take 30 minutes, but with a very energetic and inquisitive 3-year old, it does. We came to a grassy area with a bench and decided to stay for a while. I watched as her blue eyes caught hold of a fat, yellow dandelion that was dancing in the wind. She crawled over, ripped it right out of the ground and brought it back to me with the sweetest scent of pride, saying “flower! flower!”
I didn’t have the heart to tell her it wasn’t a flower.
And it made me wonder, how many times has my Father, my Daddy, my Abba, watched as I desperately gathered up bouquets of dandelions to display proudly to the world – thinking myself a regular florist.
And how many times has he watched me bear the sting of realization that these bright-looking, flower-imitating con artists are, in fact, weeds. Nasty, pesky, pointless, life-sucking weeds.
And how many times must we suffer the burn of disappointment before we realize that we’re picking from the wrong garden?
In moments when my view of God is entirely skewed and based of my bent towards legalism and religion rather than a loving relationship, I can’t help but wonder why God’s green thumb doesn’t come down and just squish me right then and there.
But I’m reminded that even when I act like a 3 year old in the park, and even when I gather weeds, or chase birds I’ll never catch, or put bark in my pockets thinking I’ve found treasure… He is a loving, merciful, gracious God who simply wants to free me from the entanglements of false beauty and lead me to the real flowers He has planted.
He does not want to squish me.