It’s not a fancy Autumn market or beautiful garden center. Its just a gravel lot at the end of the road, just before you get to the highway. Behind it there’s a vineyard and the noise they use to scare the birds from the vines, echoes in the crisp afternoon air. I’m on a mission. I come here several times a year, but this trip is my favorite.
I want mums for my garden and a few for in front of the door. So we drive down the back roads while the sun bathes everything in a golden- honey light. It’s nothing to look at, this pop-up flower stand. It’s just a few metal racks and couple of old wagons filled with flowers from the green house down the road. Seconds mostly. Plants that won’t make it to the upscale markets. They’re a little flawed, mismatched or oddly shaped. Regardless, they’re still mums, and they’re beautiful.
I take my time, choosing colours that catch my eye and trying to guess what might bloom from buds still tightly closed. I lift them into the back of my van, wondering how it is they only charge a dollar. A dollar a pot.
On the end of a wagon there’s a metal box. I read the hand-written note attached asking customers to “please be honest”, while my money drops through the slot. I pay what they ask, but honestly I would have paid more, they’re beautiful flowers and I can’t wait to get them home.
Gravel crunches under my feet and just before I reach the van I stoop to right a pot, tipped over in the wind. And right there in the middle of it all, holding those flowers I realize something. There’s a stirring in my spirit, gentler than the autumn wind. It’s all I can do not to sit down on the stones and cradle the fallen pot.
My story has a lot of imperfection, and maybe yours does as well? I’ve been so busy running from my flaws lately I failed to see the distance that I’d created between myself and the God who loves me. The one who created me and who says of the mismatched oddity of me…
Regardless, you’re mine and you’re beautiful.
And isn’t it true,
We start focusing on the imperfections when we stop listening to his heart.
And then we realize, we’ve let the voices around us drown out the truth of who we are and why we were created. We silenced the wrong voice, turned away from the one who longs to sit and cradle us, right where we are. We mistake the silence for confidence and self-determination to do it our way! And suddenly we find ourselves up-ended on the gravel, wondering why we feel alone and slightly lost.
Love will always bridge the gap, grace will eliminate the distance.
When we turn our imperfect hearts to his, we find him running, arms outstretched. We are seen, heard, and infinitely loved. We always have been.
He paid everything to pick us up, twirl us around and walk us home. He delights in our relationship with him. Each of us, with our own set of perfect imperfections. He knows us. He loves us. He takes joy in you and me and all he created us to be!
My pots of mums are home, I found a place for them and they look wonderful. My heart is home, and I’m in that place, next to his heart. I hear the steady beat of amazing love and I hear his longing to see our stories continue to bloom with grace. The grace that makes all things new.