Pastoral Messages | April 6, 2017

I was stopped at a light on Locust Street here in Davenport last week. On the sidewalk next to me was a mom who had the combination of impatience mixed with amusement that comes with being a parent of a little one. She stood waiting for her preschool-aged daughter to catch up with her. But her daughter was much more content to pick dandelions. It seemed like this mom had more patience than I do with my own little dandelion pickers. Her daughter’s delight in her gorgeous bouquet of beautiful yellow blooms was clearly contagious.

There are a lot of milestones that happen when children grow up – first real food, first word spoken or read, first friend. But one of the more lamentable steps of growing up is when a child decides that a dandelion is actually just a weed, and an annoying one at that.

I wonder if those of us grown-ups with spades ready to attack those weeds might be missing something. I’ve watched my own daughter and other children fill vases with precious dandelion bouquets and bring them to their favorite people as signs of love. They weave dandelions into crowns, and draw in a breath of reverence when the see a lawn full of them.

These kids (and some uniquely awe-filled adults) see beauty where we miss it. I know that dandelions wreak havoc on a yard of green grass, but their burst of bright yellow add such color and joy if we see it that way.

Faith is a lot about perspective. It’s a way of seeing. Perhaps it’s foolish to see dandelions as beautiful, but as followers of Jesus, we are invited into a seemingly foolish kind of faith.

This is especially true in the coming days. This weekend, on Palm Sunday, we’ll sing “Hosanna!” and wave palms in praise of our Savior, who road on a donkey of all things, in complete humility. A week from today, on Maundy Thursday, we’ll remember Jesus’ last supper with his friends as he washed their feet and served them (What a foolish thing for the Son of God to do!). And then on Good Friday, we’ll focus our attention to the cross, where we see the glory and power of God made known in Jesus’ suffering and self-giving love.

The Apostle Paul wrote to his friends in Corinth, “the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18).

It seems a foolish thing to entrust ourselves to our God who chose vulnerability, humility, and death. But this is exactly the truth that gives us life. So let’s enter into these days ahead with the vision of children, full of wonder at the power of God’s love made known in Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Sara Olson-Smith, associate pastor

3 Comments on “Dandelions”

  • Bonnie Heydeman

    April 15, 2017 at 10:09 am

    Great message! Angels? Absolutely, yes, they are angels. Dandelions, abundant for a reason, are vital! They provide the first food source for bees and other pollinators emerging from hibernation in the spring. No pollinators means no food, no flowers. Dandelions are so much more than just weeds.

  • David DeWit

    April 7, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    What a clever, inspiring way to get us thinking about Holy Week. Thanks Sarah!

  • April H

    April 6, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    This reminded me of my youngest when he was about eighteen months old. I was pushing him along in the stroller through a park when we came upon a field covered in bright yellow dandelions. Z squealed in delight, pointing at the bright blossoms.
    “Those are dandelions, sweetie,” I said. “Can you say dan-de-li-on?”
    With all seriousness, my little one looked up at me and replied, “Dos not danawions, Mommy. They’s Angels.”
    I have never looked a dandelions in the same way since.

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