Last fall, we planted about a hundred in our yard– yellow, red, and pink tulips, and a row of daffodils. The yellow ones bloomed this past week, spurts of sunshine in the yard.
When I was about 8 or 9, we went to a drive-in movie (remember those?) and we watched a movie about some gnomes (little people) that lived in a forest. It was a magical little world of little people. That’s about all I can remember, but of the many movies I have seen in my lifetime thus far, I have not forgotten that magical night, under the stars, watching a movie about a fairy-talish place.
How delightful it would be to find such a world… what if such a place existed in the realm of my little tulip patch?
Maybe I thought of this because I’m reading Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle (I’m about one-third through so far). She says we’ve forgotten the magic of fairy tales.
But we’ve forgotten more than that, she says– we’ve forgotten how to walk on water. She says we need more time to think of the invisible, the spiritual, to ponder the angels in our midst… and to learn how to walk again.
“It may be that we have lost our ability to hold a blazing coal, to move unfettered through time, to walk on water, because we have been taught that such things have to be earned; we should deserve them; we must be qualified. We are suspicious of grace. We are afraid of the very lavishness of the gift.”
If we are qualified, we tend to think that we have done the job ourselves. If we are forced to accept our evident lack of qualification, then there’s no danger that we will confuse God’s work with our own, or God’s glory with our own.” – L’Engle
Beethoven was deaf. Milton was blind. Bryon had a club foot. Moses had a stutter.
“God continually chooses the most unqualified to do his work.” – L’Engle
The unqualified; the least; the smallest; the one with the deformity, the illness, the pain– this is who God chooses to display glimpses of his exemplary beauty and glory.
As I read books (like this one, and many others), I think of the applications not just in my own life as a daughter of God, but also how to apply and teach these truths as a parent, as a friend. How beneficial to remind others of these truths– to a friend who is just in need of this message at the right time; to the children in my midst, who are searching for God-given purpose, straining under the pressures of youth; and also to remind myself.
Our weakness is where God can display his glory, his power, and we are removed from it when it comes shining through; the vessel no longer becomes significant, as the glory of God bursts through the earthen clay.
I love this kind of walking– the kind of walking on earth as if a fairy land exists behind the tulip petals. (Who am I to say it doesn’t? It does exist, at the very minimum, on a microscopic level!) How incredible this journey in which God uses the imperfect of the world, and how beautiful the knowing that walking on water is not impossible.
And, counting gifts with Ann at A Holy Experience; #711-716:
711. Josh recovering from his flu-like illness, which kept him literally in bed for 3 and 1/2 days last week. Friday afternoon he got up after 3 days in bed.
712. Attending a wedding on Saturday– which was planned in less than a month. The bride lives in Boston, the groom lives in Germany, and this was the only time their schedules could be organized for the wedding, with their cousins here in the midwest, who planned the entire event. It’s an interesting story– they were engaged while they were still children in India. And now many years later, both have become Christians, from Hindu backgrounds. Their cousin who organized the wedding here in town shared the gospel with them both at different times, and now both are believers. They both have been growing in their faith, and this cousin (himself a born again believer from a Hindu Brahmin family), has been instrumental in their faith. (They had yellow tulips in their flower arrangements….)
713. Right after the wedding, on Sat. night (and then Sunday) we went to church. The emphasis this past Sunday was on India and the south central Asian subcontinent (Sri Lanka, Nepal, etc.). The choir actually learned some Indian songs and many wore traditional outfits of saris and other traditional outfits. (On on one Sunday per month, our church focuses on a different nation or cultural group. This past year, the choir and worship team has been singing 1-2 songs in different languages, based on that month’s emphasis: Chinese songs, Spanish, African, etc.) After church, we had a short message from a Hindu man who became a Christian, music in various languages, and a full Indian meal, with pakodas (a spicy fried appetizer stuffed with potatoes), chicken curry, two kinds of rice, chick peas, lentil curry, mixed vegetables, etc., Indian dessert. A number of non-believers were present along with the folks from church. It was an outreach and cultural celebration at the same time.
714. A conversation with a woman on Sunday, who has been a Christian (by tradition) for many years but only last week (after attending a Bible study), did it occur to her to read the Bible. She then checked out Bibles from the library for her children and herself to read. Amazing, isn’t it!?
715. The boys playing legos together some mornings.
716. Reading words, rich with meaning and life.