Lent Day 27

Day 27 Monday March 16 – [S] Give someone real or paper flowers

RO: One of the defining characteristics of human beings is glory. // What is interesting about God is that He takes this desire for glory and He shifts it a little bit and gives us an interesting example of what he sees as glory. // The most glorious thing that has ever happened in the history of humanity was the death and resurrection of Jesus. When Jesus was hanging on the cross that was glory. // Death is not something we need to fear or flee from. He has totally twisted it. Now death has become a source of glory. // It is only by putting on the mind of Christ, by following Him, by saying “Yes” to him, and actually dying to ourselves and becoming His disciple that we achieve glory. // Christ understands that if you die with Him you also rise with Him. // The most glorious people in the world are those in heaven. Let’s be glorious.  

Isaiah 65:17

Thus says the LORD: Lo, I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; The things of the past shall not be remembered or come to mind. Instead, there shall always be rejoicing and happiness in what I create;

John 4: 43-54

Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.”

All day I thought over who to give flowers to. I planned on just making some flowers too, mainly because it would be cheaper. But in thinking on it I came to realize that real flowers were what was needed today. And once I came up with the person it was even more clear that real flowers would be the perfect gift. I did torment myself all day trying to think of someone. And no it wasn’t for the overabundance of people I wanted to give flowers to. (Which I found to be terribly sad! Shouldn’t I have lots of people I would love to give flowers to?) But of my short list of fluctuating uncertainty I couldn’t settle on any that just felt right. I spent most of my time trying to figure out just where I was called to give them today.

But once I realized the “who” I was invigorated and sprung to action. I got up, went to the store, bought flowers specifically for this person, and then called them to let them know I was coming over. The who was my Mom-in-law. She and my Dad-in-law are always doing amazing things for me, Ryan, and Nora and I think we do a pretty paltry job of showing them our thanks. We say “Thank you” and by all means we mean it, but I realized in getting these flowers that we do do a very, very poor job of expressing thanks in meaningful ways — like in a bouquet of simple flowers.  

There is love in action not just in words (see Day 21). God shows me all the time how through actions just how much He loves me. I need to remember to express my gratitude towards others in the same way.

I called my Mom-in-law to say I would be over in 10 minutes. She said my Dad-in-law had just headed out and he could swing by. I said I was out and that I could just swing by. Then she said he was heading to the Rite Aid. Which was amazingly awesome because I was at the dollar store (to buy a vase for the flowers and some Snickers for my Dad-in-law) and that store is attached/next door to the Rite Aid!

I finished up and went outside and saw his car in the parking lot. I stood outside the Rite Aid door and waited a few minutes until he came out. My Mom-in-law had called him to let him know I might see him, so he wasn’t surprised. But he was surprised by what I had in my hands. He asked me what it was for and I told him it was because they are so wonderful to us all the time. And then I also explained that the Lenten Calendar said to buy someone flowers today. I had to give the calendar credit because this was not a truthy altruism today; I did have to have a calendar prompt me to do the obvious. And my saying the “calendar said to” I could see this made better sense to him.

But this Lent is “working” because I already have committed to myself that I will be doing this of my own accord in the coming months. I came to this decision during those moments of reflection while waiting in line to buy the flowers. I had this “aha!” moment of “You know you can just do this whenever you feel like it, right? This doesn’t have to be a planned activity. You should do stuff like this more.”

God is patient with me. He knows me. He knows I need this gentle nudging to follow Him more fully. He knows right now I am at a place where I need a calendar to help me better serve Him. But He also wants me to stand on my own and not only choose Him every day, in all things – the big and the small. But to choose Him and then share Him.

My hope for this Lent is that I grow better in remembering those simple acts of showing someone you love them. God gives us so many beautiful ways to bring His love into the world. We need to do our part in remembering that it isn’t always about “go big or go home” – some days we are called to do those big things (and we can pray that on those days we are bold enough to embrace God’s call with a loving “Yes”) and some days we are simply called to give someone flowers.

Part 2: It was comforting to hear this message in a homily: God knows that we are sinners. We will try and inevitably at times we will fail. Because we fail it doesn’t mean we should stop trying. God wants us always to continue to try. >> How applicable to my life! I fail at various times and in various ways, but I shouldn’t give up on myself and always continue to try because God doesn’t give up on me.

Continue to Day 28