“He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.”
– Matthew 10:40
A row of 12-foot tall weeds grows along our front porch.
They high-five the gutters. They’re impossible to miss. They look like a strange fairy tale forest that doesn’t belong in our suburb. I’m embarrassed by them … but since my children planted them, I leave the giant stalks to stalk our neighbors.
Truth be told, they’re not really weeds … they’re sunflowers … that haven’t bloomed.
“We should have entered our weeds in the county fair because we would have won a blue ribbon!” says my 6-year-old.
That 6-year-old, along with his two older sisters took the seed packets that came as a prize in a fast food kids’ meal and covered them in soil. That was back in July. I remember thinking it was a little late in the summer to plant them … but I shrugged my shoulders and gave the go ahead anyway. And because of my careless shrug, we now have humungous flowerless sunflowers.
For months now, the neighbors stare at their emptiness and their incompleteness.
I shudder, guessing what they think. Then one day as we are working on another eye sore in our yard (mole holes – grrrrrr!), a neighbor crosses the street and tells me exactly what he thinks.
“I just want you to know,” he begins, pointing to the green giants. “We’re cheering them on. Every day I look out to see if they’ve bloomed. We’re really rooting for them!”
That’s all it takes. He crosses the street and speaks good cheer. With that friendly encouragement toward our strange stems, I begin encouraging them too. With his lead, I embrace acceptance. I let go of embarrassment and fear of judgement, and wholeheartedly begin hoping, cheering and watching for the seeds’ potential to be released.
Think about that for a minute. With just a few steps and just a few words, current worldly worries are let go and true potential becomes the focus. That’s all it takes.
As of this week the bright yellow petals unfurled! It’s like a sunshiny fiesta way up there. They remind me of the sunshiny fiesta “way up there” that we’re aiming for – a higher, more heavenly and happier eternal life.
And what makes those yellow flower faces even more enjoyable is knowing that my neighbors are celebrating with us. They invested hope and encouragement in these blooms’ potential, so they too harvest the happiness that comes from them.
May we all cheer each other on – especially now, in our seemingly strange and obviously incomplete state. Don’t we all have times when we feel like awkward, flowerless flowers? Let’s walk across the street and give good cheer, so that we can have a huge heavenly celebration when we reach our potential together.
Insight & Inspiration
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
John 16: 33
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
Step out of your comfort zone to extend His words of cheer. Your encouragement will be a beautiful bouquet to the underdog, the loner, the sick, the strange, the depressed, the doubter, the one in need. These are His loved ones. He cheers us on while we’re in our strange and incomplete state. Thus, we can be of good cheer – and we can be a good cheerer too!