if you wait long enough, what may appear to be nothing can instead be the most beautiful something you have ever seen!
Last year I moved into an older home that had a yard with nothing more than grass, some trees and several hosta plants around the perimeter. The rest had been kept trimmed with a weed whacker and thus, I really had a clean slate to start over with. I selected a few more hostas, along with lily of the valley and many geraniums, petunias and more to begin what I knew would be a lifetime passion to "get it all right." Last summer as I carefully trimmed the perimeter, I followed the basic outline that had been set years before, never deviating from the path.
Imagine my surprise this spring and summer thus far, when I saw new shoots coming up in places I normally had trimmed down to the ground: a lilac shoot? Why, yes! I love lilacs! and what's this? More and more, plants sprung up where in the past summer, there had been nothing. Then I realized, whose fault was that? I was the one who judiciously pruned everything to ground level, never giving anything a chance to grow! Yet now, here were things growing that I became curious about. If I let "this" grow, what will it become? And much to my surprise, things were blooming, flowering! And all I really need to do was to cultivate patience as well as a nurturing attitude.
It is the same with our lives, all of us. How quick are we to cut people out who we deem unworthy? Someone moves into our settled neighborhood and right away, instead of being a welcoming person, we immediately sniff them out. Do they go to a church we approve of, work at a place of employment we approve of, dress as we approve of? Soon within our minds, we have either cut them off or allowed them in, however tacit that approval was. Then we go about our way without so much as a "howdy do!"
This is how hate breeds into more hate. We have zero clue about another's ethnic background, beliefs and more. We act as judge and jury, never allowing the other person to even give themselves a chance. This happens in neighborhoods all over the world, in churches, in grocery stores, on the road, even. If, for whatever reason, another doesn't meet our approval, we sneer and move on. I witnessed a video on the news yesterday of a motorcycle driver who, for whatever reason, didn't like the driver of the car next to him, so he kicked that car, causing its driver to swerve, then over-correct and crash into a pickup next to it, which caused the pickup truck to roll over, injuring THAT driver. Meanwhile,the motorcyclist rambled on down the highway, probably feeling very justified for his act of impunity, not even caring about the carnage he'd left behind.
We can be that callous, too, uncaring as to the carnage WE leave behind when we shut down and put up barriers to others. Look at how many wars have been caused in the name of "this is mine, NOT yours!" Had there been Eyewitness news in Jesus' day, it would have been filled with exactly what we see and hear now: reports of man's acts of iniquity against man. Some things never change, even two or three thousand years later.
Carl Heinrich Bloch ~ "Woman at the Well"
In Jesus' day, He spoke of Samaritans and Jews not getting along, yet He spoke to a Samaritan woman at the well. In fact, He spoke to women quite a bit. Women in His time were treated as nothing more than property, yet the Samaritan woman, shocked at being spoken to at all, went on to describe her life. Jesus forgave her for her sins and she, realizing to Whom she had spoken, went on to proclaim the news that Jesus was preaching. (John 4:1-42).
We need to open our eyes to the beauty that surrounds us. In an area that may look barren, there is still fertile ground, just waiting to be nurtured! In your own neighborhood, there is probably someone you still haven't met or taken the time to know. Today, go out to meet that person! In a grocery line, coffee shop, on the highway, give others a chance! Walk (or drive!) in their shoes, ask yourself, "if that were me, how would I want to be treated?" then go ahead and do it! Who wakes up in the mornings, hoping that someone somewhere will treat us like a piece of dog turd on the bottom of our shoe? Sure, we love disdain, am I correct?
NO? Well, there is your answer!
May you be blessed today- but more...may you be a BLESSING to another today!