Apparently, our unsolicited efforts were not satisfactory.
All of the large baskets - 12 or so - have been replaced. Beautiful, lush, colorful new flowers. Where did the other ones go? The trash heap?
I'm reminded of articles leading up to the 2008 Chinese Olympics, highlighting Chinese efforts to paint their desecrated, strip-mined mountains green to look pretty for the event.
We live in a world that wants beauty without effort. We surgically "fake" real beauty, stretching, pulling, sucking and augmenting everything natural to look... unnatural. We call it "beautiful. Like flowers that go unwatered. As a society - and now perhaps a species - largely addicted to consumption, we throw out what can't survive unfed, untended and (perhaps?) unloved. Like Jonah, we only rejoice at what we are fortuitous enough to encounter:
But the LORD said, "You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight." (Jonah 4:10)I believe we have a responsibility to tend what is wilting, to love what is unloved, to preserve what seems burdensome or inexpedient, and to care for things perhaps more easily discarded. I wasn't sure where this post was leading, but I'm reminded that my commitment to Christianity is NOT because it's always such a lovely, beautiful, "convenient" organism. It often is not. And there are countless incarnations of spirituality and personal philosophy that may seem more... hmmm... progressive? Modern? Relevant? Fashionable? Dare I say "hip?"
I'm the first to admit: the Christian faith looks too often wilted and ugly. But I don't want to replace this flower. It doesn't mean I don't see beautiful flowers elsewhere. But I'm going to keep watering this one. I don't mean to sound narcissistic here. My water is no better than yours (I do believe there is living water to be found). I want to remain resolute - ready to roll my sleeves up and keep watering. Keep buying fertilizer. It may take awhile. But there are still some blossoms left...