I was talking to God the other morning about some conversations that left me feeling rather opposed (there’s a lot of those flying around, have you noticed?). It was nothing huge, but it got stuck in my spirit.
As I went on about it I sensed Jesus, in a wordless gesture, hold out a single flower to me.
It rather shut my mouth right then and there.
The power of a single flower.
Flower power is the slogan of the 1960’s and stems (see what i did there🌱😂) from the peaceful resistance to the Vietnam war.
Protestors, armed with flowers, would hand them out to the opposition in hope of reducing the level of fear, anger, and threat that existed.
Flower power, indeed.
As I took my own proverbial flower from the hand of Jesus, I took the meaning/message as well: Jenny, dear one, choose peace in your response to the other. In response to the hard or the harsh you received.
Ah, this way of Jesus!!
This way of not returning in kind.
What do I extend to others? Fist or flower?
Jesus holding out the flower to me had a deescalating effect. It offered me a different way. And yes, there is always a different way (not that I always want it), the way of love. The way where I don’t strike back. The way where I not only hold my tongue but hold out kindness.
The disciple Peter, whose initial approach to opposition was a sword, later wrote:
“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”
1 Peter 3:9 (NIV)
The Voice Translation says to “repay the bad with a blessing.”
Instead of responding in KIND (giving what was given to you), respond in kindNESS.
Easter weekend, hubby and I went to an Amish farm and gathered up 12 pots of Gerbera daisies; pink, yellow, purple and red. Back home, I made little cards and attached them to each pot. “May hope bloom,” I wrote.
Hubby then walked the neighborhood delivering daisies, carrying kindness, and handing out hope.
- What is your response to the opposing side? Fist or flower?
- To whom can you hold out hope, peace, or love today? And how?
- Buy a bunch of flowers and distribute them – at work, at school, to strangers on the street. If you’re local to the Lancaster, PA area I highly recommend you get them here (check out their Instagram page here).
- When you feel irritated or insulted by someone choose your response: fist or flower.
- Our song of the week is: Give Me Love (Give me Peace) by George Harrison (how could I not choose the Beatles this week?!).
- Help me, God, to repay the bad with a blessing.