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Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Dandelion is a Flower

I love the dandelion. It's one of my favorite flowers. Yes, I refer to the dandelion as a flower. It's soft, vibrant yellow bloom tells me when spring has officially arrived in the mid-west. I love dandelions! 

I also love roses. Roses are delicate and beautiful and from what I understand, quite a task to grow successfully. I've not had the patience to try. Still, I love roses! Dandelions are soft to touch. Roses have thorns that can prick your fingers. Dandelions grow plentiful with little effort. Roses are expensive and take a lot of effort. I do love green manicured lawns. I have to admit the appearance of a well manicured lawn surrounding the house in the suburbs is attractive. But, would someone tell me who decided that this would be the standard by which we all should live? 

Who decided that something as colorful as a dandelion is a weed? 

When I was a little girl, I was very proud of the dandelion and violet bouquets that I made for my mom. They were flowers to me then and they still are today. Please grow your roses and prune them with care because they are beautiful and they are worth your touch.  But, if you should cross the fence into my yard and find a field of dandelions, please don't mock them, they are just as beautiful to me as your roses and might I add, not near as fussy.

I love atheists. Atheists challenge me to think about the basis of my faith in an unseen God. But somehow when people here the word, Atheist, they picture the man who hates God and anyone who believes in God. When I married my husband who is an Atheist, there were some who thought my life was in danger; or at least my spiritual life.  Mike doesn't hate people of Christian, or other spiritual beliefs. In fact in many ways he has encouraged me more in my pursuit to nurture my spiritual beliefs than some of Christian faith.  Please don't judge him because of his difference in religious belief. 

 I also love Christians. Some might say this is a given because I can identify with the belief system. But, I love Christians because of the differences in our approach to the same text, the Holy Bible. What I see when I read scripture is different than what my fellow believers understand. Whether Catholic, Methodist, Baptist or Lutheran, we all believe in the same God. But still as Christians, we have differences in belief. Let's not steal from our Catholic friends the reverence they feel when they bow in a most Holy moment to pray with a rosary in hand. Let us not take from my Lutheran friends the teachings of Martin Luther.  Our differences in worship style are not right or wront. They ultimately lead us to the same God

I love people of color. I have had the palest skin all of my life. As a young girl, when I would see someone with dark skin, I thought they were the most beautiful people on earth. I wanted their skin. I wanted to be dark. Apparently I wasn't the only one who thought so. Today there is an entire industry founded on the principle of making white people darker. Someone decided that being too white was not attractive. But, someone also decided that Black is not beautiful. Some time ago I visited with a friend of mine who is African American. She is a beautiful, intelligent, compassionate young mother. She has a daughter who somewhere along the line picked up the idea that the color of her skin makes her like the dandelion; less valuable, less beautiful and less wanted. She was ashamed of having the darkest skin in her family. You know when I look at my lily white skin I sometimes wish I had a little more color.  But never, ever, do I feel ashamed to be white. Why? Because nobody in this society has told me that I need to be ashamed of my white skin. This young girl felt like a dandelion in a world of roses. Her story broke my heart that day and frankly, I hope that it always will.  

Whether dandelions or roses, Christian or not; whether your skin is the whitest of white or the darkest of brown, someone finds you valuable.  And if you are feeling a bit like a dandelion today, know that someone somewhere thinks you are beautiful beyond compare.

Thanks for reading.

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