That beautiful life

I probably have at least a hundred photos I have taken, with my phone, of tiny teeny little flowers, I have encountered, on bike rides or walks, through the parks and the woods. Somehow I feel that when I stop and take a photo, and appreciate or admire that flower, I am helping acknowledge or give hope to “that beautiful life” I see, expressed.
I would not want that flower to bud, bloom and flower unnoticed or unappreciated. I delight, truly, in finding that insignificant little flower, peeking out from the dead leaves, or bursting forth in an otherwise dark wood. It is miraculous to me, that it can be so perfect, and yet so tiny and so fragile, and beautiful.
But seeing one, and acknowledging it, makes me feel like I am “in sync” with God’s creation.
And I realized that God’s creation is also expressed similarly in mankind. There is, for example, a man, who lives and operates a business not far down the road from my home. He is a hard worker. I remember one time when I went in for a part, to a machine, he gave me the part for free. I was so surprised and that kindness was unexpected. I told him that I wanted to pay for the part and he asked me to bring him a box of donuts the next time I came by, instead.

So I made a point of getting some donuts and taking them by to him. He was delighted. That man I recently learned, has had the rent for the building he is leasing, go up, past what he can afford. He is trying to find a new location for his business and he is struggling financially.

The only thing I really know about this man, is that he was kind enough to give me a part for free, when he did not have to. “That beautiful life”, at that moment in time, was being expressed in that action, by this stranger who was “on my path”. Going forward, and being able to appreciate him, to me, was like appreciating that tiny flower I might find on the side of the road, easy to miss, and easy to pass on by. But instead I am going to stop by tomorrow, and make a donation to that man and his business.

Because I love “that beautiful life” being expressed, no matter where I might find it, I feel compelled to do this.
There is another man, I can think of, who is difficult to really know because he does not talk much or communicate well. He is a bit scary looking because he had an accident that is work related and it scarred him. But he is responsible and he is kind to animals. The neighbor of this man said that he is a hard worker, and that he is a good guy who has struggled in his life.

There are people who do not understand this man, who clash with his personality, but because of the tiny things I know about “that beautiful life” I am trying to give this man the benefit of the doubt. I would hate to think that judging someone harshly, because of one or two mistakes, he might have made, might crush that light inside this man. Giving him that benefit in my thought, is like appreciating that flower, by the side of the road.

Just today, my husband got a request from someone we barely know who says he needs money. I remember years ago, when I really needed money, and I asked people in my family for money; one cousin, whom I rarely talked to, sent me a check for five hundred dollars. I ended up returning the money to her, but the fact that she trusted me enough to give me, what I thought was a huge amount, when I asked for help, made me feel hopeful, appreciated and loved.

It was like she saw that tiny perfect flower expressed in me, and recognized it, without passing it by. She may not have really understood why I was asking, or might have not really wanted to part with the money at the time, but she did it anyway.

There is nothing so educational as being the one who is in need, to help us understand the importance of giving, or at least the importance of expecting to see “that beautiful life”, especially when it comes in the form of a stranger, an inconvenience, or a difficulty. Thanksgiving just happened here in America. To me, it means that we are not just grateful for our family and friends, we can be grateful for almost total strangers as they provide us with opportunities to “see”. They help us find our path, or at least they brighten it along the way, like teeny tiny flowers with “that beautiful life”.
There is a story in the news about “operation pathfinder” which was a plan put in place by a veteran run organization, to help rescue twins from an orphanage in Russia, in order to return them to Texas. I love that story, because total strangers, made the effort to see “That beautiful life” and not just pass it by.

The bible says that God makes “our crooked places straight”. Like “operation pathfinder”, the path is not crooked any more, because when looking through the eyes of love, the crooked places can be fixed. Crooked places can be diseased limbs, made whole, or they can be lack that is replaced with abundance. Each of us, who takes the time to stop and appreciate “that beautiful life”, will be amazed at how this seemingly insignificant thing, will bless us and inspire us and give us hope and new life ourselves.

So the next time you see a teeny tiny flower, or meet someone who expresses even a tiny bit of kindness or goodness, I hope you stop and “appreciate” it any way you can. I know I will too.

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Melissa Ann Howell Schier

HoustonWorkout on YouTube, mom of five, journalist and artist and conservative who values life.