Joy in a bunch of blooms.
Grace comes to us in a multitude of ways. I walked into an empty house, heart heavy with worries, and there on the kitchen table sat a beautiful vase full of blooms - life right there in the middle of the wood. She had reached out and touched me with love and there was a strange pain that went with it, the receiving of grace in a hurting place, the acceptance of love when I felt unlovely. I took the blooms in their wrapping and started to make art with them. Strip the plastic, take off the band, cut the stem, strip the lower leaves and position them in glass vase. I found myself smiling, loving the feel of the strong stems in my fingers and I remembered the original occupation of man was to tend the garden. Thousands of years later I experience the same joy, the same communion with God as I stand at my kitchen sink tending to this bundle of blossoms.
Artistry complete, I place the vase back in the center of the kitchen table. This oak oval is grand central at our house. It's the place we share meals, do science experiments, spill lemonade, argue over how many math question we should do today, and the place where we pray. The life happens around this table and life is in the middle of this table.
I stoop just a little to capture the blooms and there on the wall it hangs - "joy," written on our bunting. It was almost a mockery to me these last days as I felt anything but joy, remembering this past year, but the promise of Easter still stands and is true even if I don't feel it. And here am I now, bending down to take this picture of blooms that brought me joy and there is the sign hanging over them. The flowers make the words complete and it's not just about the flowers, it's that she brought me the flowers and left them here as a gift. She reached out and showed she cared and my evening that was full of tears and pain has ended in joy and peace.