Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Want to be a pansy with me?

Smiling pansy.
If you know anything at all about me you know that I have a thing for bloomers.  This one is so inspiring it makes me want to be one too! Just look at its happy little smile on fancy yellow cheeks! Makes me want to smile right back at it! (Go ahead, you know you want to.) There, now wasn’t that fun?

Pansies are like that; they smile right in the middle of winter when everyone else is locked up tight refusing to show their bloomers. If I could give you a 360 degree view of this lone bloomer, it is hanging from a tree (near the kitchen window) that has dropped all its leaves, over a bed of grass that is grumbling about the temperature and packing its leaves to go underground for a few months, and alongside some Mexican petunias that shriveled at the first breeze of frost. Above, below and all around this little basket are the faint of heart that gave up when winter stepped foot into the yard.

While many think of pansies as weaklings and use their name as an insult, I beg to differ. If I were to be given a flower name “Rose” or “Violet” would be lovely. They have pretty blossoms and delightful fragrances. But, I think I might just choose to be “Pansy.” The kind of pansy like this little guy, blooming for all its worth right in the middle of winter when everyone else has given up.

It can’t be easy. All the others withered away for a reason. Winter is hard. It takes great courage and strength to grow, much less bloom under such circumstances.

What does God expect from us in hard times? First Thessalonians 5:11 – 26 was written to a group that was “mistreated”, “suffering affliction,” “much tribulation”, and “amid much opposition.”  They were told;
  • Encourage one another.
  • Build up one another.
  • Live in peace with one another.
  • See that no one repay with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all men.
  •  Rejoice always
  •  In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
  •  Greet one another with a holy kiss.

Does it seem to you that this little smiling face could be greeting us “with a holy kiss”? A smile from God, winter is here – rejoice. It is hard –rejoice. God is at work – give thanks.  Could it be that He is reminding us through a dainty (but strong) flower that we are an encouragement to others when we give thanks, rejoice and smile?

Look closely at the basket again. Do you see it? There is a viola and another pansy trying to bloom right next to him! AND, a sunflower coming up too! When we give praise, rejoice and stand strong, it give others the courage and strength to do the same!
   Courage is contagious.
    Praise is contagious.
   Smiles are contagious.

Which are you willing to share today? Come on, be a pansy with me!  

Father in heaven,
We see reminders of Your love for us in all creation. Thank You for loving us before we even came to know You. Thank You for encouraging and sustaining us through hard times. Give us strength and courage to rejoice and give You thanks through it all. Let us be a smiling beacon of Your love to someone who needs it today.

As always, I encourage you to leave comments below. Your words are not only an encouragement to me but to all who read them!


 About me -

 Find more stories of faith in
 Oscar the Extraordinary Hummingbird
and Other Tales From Life In My Father's World