The gift of necessary things

The gift of necessary things

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Joey Lucius
Standing writer
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Yellow tulips – mid-January. This is the gift my oldest son got me on one of the coldest nights of the year.

I know you’re all thinking: “How beautiful!” But wait and let me describe yellow tulips to you a little more. Better yet, first let me explain to you what it’s like to be a mom of a boy for over 40 years.

Both of my children knew they could depend on their parents for everything they needed as children. Thank God! They never went to bed hungry, cold, or wondering where mommy or daddy was.

They were always safe and secure, and they knew they were loved beyond measure. They heard those words of love coming out of my mouth and my husband’s mouth every day. They saw our love for them in action. They have witnessed this over and over again.

Both boys understood that we were a united front in love and discipline. But they also knew that Randy and I were very different in our individual approaches to parenting—and to life.

Likewise, our children were very different in their individual approaches to life, and as such, each gave us very distinct and different gifts and displays of love.

Our youngest son, Chris, was always bringing home animals of every kind.

We once sent him with friends to Cherokee, Alabama, for a weekend coon hunting festival near the famous Key Underwood Coon Dog Cemetery.

Now, I knew enough about my child’s love of dogs to give him just $40 in spending money, which is a lot of money for a 13-year-old — but not enough to buy a raccoon dog of any kind.

But unfortunately, Chris was able to return home with not one, but two hounds. One was a feisty Redbone who had driven his owner mad for the last time. He sold it to Chris for all the money he had left in his pocket – $25 I think.

Then, on his way to the car to go home, a man was carrying some black and tan puppies (Chris’s lifelong favorite breed of hound) that he couldn’t sell. Of course, Chris commented on how cute the puppies were and wished out loud that they would get one of their own. The man handed the last female to Chris with a smile and asked him to take care of her.

So, Chris Lucius brought home two dogs (with pedigrees and papers) and a few other hunting tools, all from the small amount of cash he took with him. (There’s a whole other lesson here about the kid who paid tithes constantly from the time he was four until the day he died last summer.)

Yes! Two dogs for only $25.

We simply sighed, smiled, and bought more dog food. Because, as his parents, we learned early on that his love of dogs was just part of who Chris was — and who he would always be.

Throughout his life, he often returned home necessary the animals. Sometimes, they would only stay for a few weeks until the animals found another home. Sometimes, those animals were ours for life. Sometimes, the animals were in desperate need of healing and help. So, we’ve done our share of medicine over the years.

One of the dogs even crawled into our house after being attacked by another animal. It was as if she knew where Chris lived and came to ask for help. This poor pup was almost dead, and I honestly doubted she would survive the night. But Chris announced that she would live and named her Lazurus, for good measure.

So Chris and I loved the dog, gave her her new name, kept her warm, and fed her sips of water. Early the next morning, we took her to the vet where she made a full recovery. One veterinary student took Lazurus home with her, and the pup lived a long, happy life as the mascot of the veterinarian’s office, welcoming other animals that came through the doors.

Yes, they were like that necessary The gifts Chris gave us with full faith that his mother and father would help every sick and needy animal he brought to us. And we did!

His brother Jacob, our eldest son, also brought his share to us necessary It is introduced over the years, usually flowers, plants, and even trees.

But recently, since Chris died in June, Jacob’s gifts to me have become more frequent, especially flowers — like yellow tulips in mid-January.

But here lies the problem. Jacob works at a grocery store that sells plants and flowers. Like his brother, Jacob has a tender heart, and can’t stand it when the store selects wilted and fallen flowers. He buys them and brings them back to me at home – for a revival!

He often says with a smile: “I saw this bouquet of roses, mom.” “I’ve been thinking about you. They looked so sad, and I knew you could fix them right away.”

Me too!

I prune their stems, remove the brown leaves, cut off any dead flowers, and place them in a pretty vase with warm water and some plant food. And the results are amazing! Within a few hours, those dead flowers look brand new. They also stay beautiful for days, all because of a little love and care.

This process of reviving flowers has become a ritual for Jacob and me over the past months of grief. I love it, because I know he thinks I can bring new life to those failed flowers. And I love the beautiful flowers that I enjoy as a reward.

After all, there is nothing more precious than a little boy bringing flowers to his mother, even when that little boy is a grown man with a son.

But those yellow tulips were a completely different story.

When Jacob walked in the door with a huge bundle of them, I shook my head. They looked beyond helping.

“Can you believe it? They were throwing these things away,” he said indignantly. “I couldn’t stand it! I told them that my mother would take care of them. So, give me all of them!

He handed me those yellow tulips with the sweetest smile and the same confidence that his brother Chris had that night long ago when Lazarus came crawling to our door on the verge of death.

So, even though he saw the look of doubt on my face, I already knew the only correct answer: “This is so beautiful, Jacob! What a beautiful gift of spring here in the heart of winter.”

Jacob smiled wider and asked hesitantly: “Are you sure you can help them?”

“I can definitely try!” I hugged him and reassured him as he left me with my gift necessary Tulips.

But when I took the cellophane out of the tulips, my heart sank. I have never seen such a mess. Not only were the yellow flowers drooping and dying, but their stems were also rotting and sticky in places. It seemed impossible for them to survive another day.

“They kind of look like me, don’t they, Jesus?” I said with tears in my eyes and sadness in my heart.

Then I directed my comment to the tulips: “Oh, poor tulips! decent. Most days, I’m not sure I can make it either.

For the next several minutes, I prayed as I tended to the dying tulips. I cleaned and treated them the best I could. But the more I worked on it, the more I prayed and cried.

Those tulips were a metaphor for my mother’s weary and lonely heart. Here I stand in the depths of my grief and despair on the darkest days of winter, and I can’t even begin to hope for the dawn of spring and new life…or can I?

Didn’t God promise me that He would comfort me in my sorrow and turn my mourning into dancing? Did not His Word assure me that He is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit? He even reminds me in the last chapter of the Bible that one day, He will personally wipe away my tears forever. he likes me! And He loves my children, the one in heaven who brought me these yellow tulips that need hope and healing.

In fact, in Luke 12:27-28, the Bible says,

Look at lilies and how they grow. They neither worked nor made their own clothes, but Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they did. And if God cares so wonderfully about the flowers that are here today that will be thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you (NLT).

“Well, little tulips,” I concluded as I wiped my eyes and placed the yellow flowers in a beautiful antique blue and white china vase, “God cares about you and me. So, we can do this! We can hold our heads up and live.”

And so they did.

Despite the freezing January temperatures, these pathetic tulips bloomed and bloomed for several days, with tiny buds blossoming into beautiful, full yellow flowers. In fact, it was almost impossible to imagine how close those beautiful tulips came to death (and the landfill).

Jacob was not surprised. He expected nothing less from his mother.

But I was amazed. And a little shy. Because I forgot that just as my children all their lives have been offering me and my husband their broken treasures to fix, I can do the same for my Heavenly Father.

I forgot to lay my sad, sad heart at His feet and leave it there with the absolute faith of a child—knowing that the bleeding, wounded little dogs and the rotting, wilting tulips were no different from my broken, shattered, aching heart. – In the hands of our good Lord.

    (tags for translation)Joy Lucius

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