Last week I posted a photo of me as a wee girl in a field of daisies. I have always loved that photo (is it vain to love a photo of oneself?!) and always loved daisies – perhaps this photo is the reason why!
Daisies are, I suppose, wildflowers. Or, as my husband calls them, “weeds”. I refuse to call them weeds because they are too beautiful! I admit that they are rather hard to get rid of if you don’t want them in the particular area that they planted themselves. Tough roots. Strong stems. But that doesn’t stop me admiring them for their simple beauty. Yellow and white. Long petals, solid center. A child’s idea of a classic flower.
Another thing I like about daisies is that they are benign. Every summer I fight against Deadly Nightshade, another rather pretty weed/wildflower/vine that grows like…well…a weed around here. And while it may be pretty with its purple and yellow blooms, it is, as its name suggests, not something that you want to mess with as it is, as you may have guessed, extremely toxic.
I prefer flowers that are pretty and won’t poison you.
Daisies are also better than many other wildflowers in that you can cut them and bring them into the house and they won’t die immediately. My youngest daughter has brought me several wildflower bouquets recently, and virtually all of them – with the noted exception of the horsetail reed – have died within hours. They just can’t adjust to life when cut off from their roots.
Think about that a moment.
Wildflowers can’t thrive when cut off from their roots. They wither. They die.
A lot like people, when they’re cut off from each other.
I’ve thought often of Hebrews 10:24 & 25 in recent days.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Ok, for all of you true theologians out there, I know that the context of this verse is about growing in our faith. That’s not where I’m going with this today. Today it just makes me think about our relationships with each other, rather than our relationship with God.
This is a weird, difficult, stressful time in the history of the world. Now don’t get me wrong. I do not mean to be political about this issue. I am not saying that isolating ourselves to protect each other is either right or wrong. What I am saying that as we continue to socially distance ourselves – to whatever degree our particular state or country says we must – we also must remember to reach out to those in isolation because to be alone, to be cut off from our roots, is to wither and die.
I remember, just a couple of weeks into one state’s Stay at Home order, a friend from college posted that his neighbor had killed herself because she couldn’t take the isolation. She didn’t want to face weeks – and as it turns out, months – of living all by herself in fear.
Again, I am not politicizing this. What I am saying is that people need each other.
I have loved seeing how organizations, camps, churches, etc. are thinking of creative ways to reach out. For example, Lakeside Church here in Worthington, MN, dropped off crafts kits this week to those who requested it. Totally free. Totally to encourage.
How can you encourage others in this unique era? How can you spur people on toward love and good deeds? How can you “meet together” in safety? How can you reach out to those who are particularly isolated?
These are things I think we must all consider thoughtfully and then act upon our ideas.
Because no one wants to be a wildflower, cut off from its roots, withering away.
Please share some ideas in the comments of how you have reached out, or how you have seen others reach out to encourage one another in this COVID-era. Thank you in advance for your thoughts!