Categories
Christian Blog Hope

One Firefly Night

Last night, just after dusk, I sat on the back porch taking in the sounds of nature. There were a few crickets and some bird who didn’t know not to sing after sun down. It was all garden variety, until my eye caught a green blink…blink…blink. A firefly!

Hyper-focused, I tried to guess where the micro flash would come next. Over by the storage shed, near the silhouette of a tree, surely this little guy has company!

But there was only one. A single firefly blinked a few times. And then it was gone.

A one firefly night.

It happened so fast, I didn’t get the chance to share it with anyone. I ran inside to tell my wife, “Sweetheart, I just saw a firefly. ONE firefly! I think I’ll name him Frosty.”

“Frosty?”, she said.

“Yes, after Robert Frost. You know, the poet who wrote, Nothing Gold Can Stay?

I then quoted, unprompted, one of my favorite poems:

Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

Robert Frost

A single lightning bug–arguably, the most beautiful but fragile of God’s creatures, lives in the words of a famous poet, but also in the heart’s cry of Psalm 43.

Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.

Psalm 43:5

Nothing Gold Can Stay.

The scripture, the poem, and the firefly: each say life is GUARANTEED to change. It’s beyond our total control; all one can do is prepare for the inevitable.

Depressing? Perhaps. The free acceptance of an unknown future CAN be.

But you and I know who holds the future.

Put your hope in God; for I will yet praise Him.

This post first appeared on my blog in June of 2019. But, would you believe, the same thing happened the other night?! One firefly appeared in my back yard, blinked a time or two, and then was gone.

Categories
Christian Living

Comparing Pumpkins

Photo by Erik Mclean on Pexels.com

God, let me not compare myself to anyone else in anything, because you do not compare me to anyone else here on earth.

Scribe Lady, A Prayer for Today, on Country Ripples

One of my favorite kid’s movies to watch this time of year is, Spookley: The Square Pumpkin. Being square in shape makes him a prime target for harassment by the other pumpkins, who are round. Thankfully, a quirky scarecrow and his two bat sidekicks help Spookley realize his uniqueness is actually a strength.

Why is it so easy to compare ourselves with others, and so hard not too? We know what Paul said, speaking of his detractors in Corinth, “They make up their own standards to measure themselves by, and they judge themselves by their own standards!” – 2 Corinthians 10:2 (GNT) Can you relate? As a touchy-feely, sensitive artist type, at times I’ve felt like a square pumpkin in a patch full of spherical smarty pants.

This is why I find Scribelady’s quote so affirming. God isn’t grading you or me against anyone, or anything but His own plan for our lives! (Ephesians 2:10) I remember once at a youth meeting a pastor held up several pieces of chalk. Some were long, some were short, and some were in between. He said, “This is how we see each other.” Then he turned his hand so we could only see the tops of the chalk. “This is how God sees us.”


“Chalk” by quinn.anya is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

So who’s to say, but the Lord Himself, if one person’s “pumpkin” is better than another’s?

God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus He has created us for a life of good deeds, which He has already prepared for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10 (GNT)
Categories
Christian Blog love

My New Clowned Friend

I met a clown once. He was at the mall making balloon animals for the kids. While he contorted a squeaky red one into a dog for my son, I noticed six cryptical letters embroidered on his costume–where a name tag would be. “IYQYQR” I said,” What does that mean?” “Oh, you don’t speak “clown-lish,” said the red-nosed jester with a grin. “I…like…you..like…you…are,” he said, pointing to each letter.

My new clowned friend was on to something. He must have heard about the guy who said this:

Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.

Theodore Roosevelt

At the risk of comparing The Almighty to both a clown and our 26th president, I believe God agrees.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;

Psalm 103:8,10,13 (NIV)

Clearly, imperfect humans fall far short of God’s holiness (Romans 3:23). And our creator doesn’t grade on the curve. He could flunk us all. Thankfully, there’s a merciful solution for our predicament.

But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:8 (NIV)

You probably already know these things. So, here’s my somewhat fresh angle: God likes you like you are. You don’t have to DO anything to earn his endearment. Like that clown at the mall, He just likes you. Period.

Squeaky balloon animal, anyone?


Photo by Genaro Servin on Pexels.com https://www.pexels.com/photo/clown-with-green-wig-792764/

This post was first published on June 17, 2019, when I had thirty-seven followers. Fourteen of them were squeaky balloon animals.