April 5, 2013
A Gift of Dandelions
If there's one thing I've learned since becoming a mother, it's that it totally changes the way I see the world. Where I used to see a beautiful balcony, I now see an iron obstacle that my three-year-old might try to climb. Instead of a picturesque pond, I see a drowning hazard. That gumball over there, yep, someone might choke on it.
It might sounds a little extreme, but as a mom, I'm on the look out for how something could possibly harm my child. A few years ago, when my husband and I were deciding on names for our children, he gave me a hard time for thinking up all the possible ways elementary school kids could turn the name into a taunt: "Icky Vickie," "Hairy Larry" . . . you get the idea. I wanted to save my child from any possible bullying or embarrassment (although to be fair, there is no bully-proof name). I saw a name as a potential weapon used against that precious baby still snuggled up safe and warm inside me.
Yesterday, as I was getting my kids out of the minivan, my youngest walked from our vehicle straight over to a bright yellow dandelion in our front lawn. "Flower!" His plump little baby fingers reached down to pick it up. He lifted it to his nose and smiled.
In that moment, God spoke to me. Is it a flower or is it a weed?
I certainly didn't plan for dandelions to pop up in my front yard. I've taken efforts to keep them out and leave my lawn looking tidy and green. Yet here they were, bright and loud, breaking up my manicured grass.
Life is like that, you know? You go along, minding your own business when all of a sudden, something pops up. Something you didn't plan on. Something that disrupts your normal schedule or routine. Maybe it's an illness, a job loss, a rough patch in your marriage, a frustrating relationship with your child or family member. In that moment, you are tempted to pull out the Round-Up and spray away all your troubles. How dare that thing show up. It's nothing but a problem that needs to be solved and quickly eliminated.
Is a dandelion a flower or a weed? The answer is yes. The remarkable thing is that although this weed tends to weasel it's way into my lawn unwanted, it brings with it color. My son was able to see it with innocent eyes, a bright yellow flower - a gift for his mother.
I wonder if God ever hands us dandelions? All we see is the weed - the trouble and heartache, and fail to see that there can be beauty in it. No one wants trouble in their life, but it colors us, it makes us stand out, it allows us to have a gift to give to others.
Here's to noticing the dandelions.