Weekly Update: Dandelions

87617533Happy Friday, my Friends!  I write to you with sunshine coming in my window and lots and lots of prayers on my heart that God will hold off His showers until 3:00pm tomorrow.  🙂  I pray that you’re doing well, as we enter firmly into the middle of Spring, and look towards the start of summer.

As I’ve been driving around and enjoying the lush greens and florals that our wonderful Wisconsin landscape has to offer, I’m reminded that this is my favorite time of year–it’s Dandelion Season!  I know I’m not supposed to like them, (since they’re “technically” a weed), but there’s just something inside of me that loves the look of those bright yellow blooms against the backdrop of the lush green grass.  Some yards are so full of them, they look like they’re growing them on purpose!  🙂  The arrival of the Dandelions signals that winter is over, and that summer is on its way.

As a child, I used to love picking Dandelions.  With their soft stalk and bright yellow flower head, they’re the perfect flower for little hands to pluck and marvel over.  And they’re definitely in abundance!  I would pick a “bouquet” of Dandelions, squishing them tightly in my hands, the grassy, earthy smell rubbing off on my small chubby fingers.  When I had a bunch that was suitable for giving, I would run inside the house and yell out in a gleeful, urgent voice, “Mom!!  Do we have a vase?!”  Of course, my Mother always knew what that meant–it meant that she would be dining that evening with a bouquet of squished and wilting Dandelions as her centerpiece.  She never complained, though.  Getting her finest bud vase from the china cabinet, she would help me fill it with water, and set the Dandelions inside–some of the stems so short that they were simply just flower heads.  I would smile with pride, and then present my bouquet in the vase to her, “Here, Mom.  It’s for you.”

Feigning surprise, she would grasp the vase with both hands, hold it up to her nose, sniff the flowers like they were prized roses, and say with an exaggerated gesture of thankfulness, “Oh, thank you so much.  They’re so beautiful!”  And then onto the table they would go, to be prized by all–until the next day, when those poor little yellow blooms were hopelessly dead, and ready to be thrown out.

On and on we would pick Dandelions–all Spring.  And when they began to go to seed, it was an even more wondrous sight–as the little seed pods lifted and flew in the wind like little fairies with each blow of our mouths, or puff of wind.  We would make wishes as we blew the seeds away, scattering them into the breeze (and onto our neighbor’s yard, I’m sure…).  🙂

As I think about Dandelions today, I’m impressed with the idea that maybe God wants us to be more like that small, unassuming flower.  Just think about it:

-A Dandelion blooms where it’s planted.  Whether it’s in a lush lawn, a rocky field, or even a crack in the pavement, Dandelions will flourish wherever their seed lands.  They are hearty and resilient.  They’ve received a reputation in the Gardening world as a pesky, hard-to-get-rid-of weed.  Once they take root, they’re not going anywhere, even if it might be difficult to thrive in their environment at times.

How many times are we as Christians faced with difficult situations and circumstances, and yet instead of “hanging in there” and allowing God to work through us to help us flourish, we simply give up?  How many times have we felt like we were “planted” in pavement or rocks, and we turn into ourselves, hopeless, instead of relying on God’s strength and power to make us resilient and strong?  How many times has God asked us to be like the Dandelion–to thrive where we’re planted, no matter how difficult that place may be?  God will help us in those places, just like He helps that little yellow flower.  Turn to Him.

-A Dandelion doesn’t let its label of “weed” keep it from being beautiful.  We the world have labeled this little flower a “weed”, but if you really look at the Dandelion, it’s a beautiful little flower.  It’s petals are intricate and delicate.  And its a very useful flower, as well.  In fact, I have friends in Pennsylvania who use it in food items!  Even though the world has given a “bad” label to the Dandelion, it keeps on being what it’s created to be–something shining and beautiful.

Do you feel like a “weed” every now and then?  Do you feel like the world has labeled you as “ugly”, “a pest”, or even “bad”?  Guess what?  Those labels are wrong!  I’ll tell you something my Mother always tells me–“God doesn’t make mistakes”.  You are beautiful.  God is using you.  You are a child of God.  Live in the reality that God has given you, not the world.  Live like the Dandelion.

-A Dandelion makes no qualms about spreading its seed–in fact, it lives its life in order to make sure that it can scatter its seeds for the next generation.  A Dandelion has fulfilled its life mission when it lives long enough to go to seed, and have those seeds carried off in the wind, to be dropped on soil somewhere else in the world.  That’s what the Dandelion is all about–multiplying!  It hangs on through the storms and through the sunshine so that it can get its seed to where it needs to be.

As Christians, we are called to spread our “seed”–the Gospel–to all the corners of the world.  That’s our mission.  Whether we are working in the office, taking care of our kids at home, planting a field, running in a track meet, watching a football game, texting with friends, or doing a whole bunch of other tasks, our mission is to spread the Gospel of the saving life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ to the world.  The story of Jesus is our “seeds”.  His love and grace is our “seeds”.  We are called to “scatter them” to the wind, to spread them near and far.  That’s our mission.  That’s what we are created to do.

So today, then, as you go driving around and you notice those pesky old Dandelions shooting up in the lawns of your friends and neighbors (maybe even yours?), take a moment to think about the lessons that they teach us.  Maybe even take a second to pick one, and blow the seeds to the wind.  God uses all sorts of things to teach us about Himself–even weeds.  🙂

Blessings to you, my friends!

-Pastor Kristen