Thursday, January 27, 2011
What does God tell me when I look at the Touch-me-not? Certainly, I think of my need to not touch sin, or else risk giving the devil a foothold in my life. On an emotional level, though, I am reminded of my childhood. I look back now and think of what a sight I must have been. Just a frightened scraggly little girl. I lived in THAT house where the music could be heard blaring all the way down the street, police visits were frequent, and drug deals abounded. Knotted hair and stained clothing. No idea of what it was like to have a traditional family or parents who had any time for me. Oh, it's not that I wasn't loved - I know that I was. It's just that Dad had his own life apart from us and mom had to work so very hard to take care of us.
I think that others surely must have seen my neediness. I imagine that they may have been full of disdain at the idea of getting their hands "dirty" in having dealings with me. So they looked the other way. This is a pet peeve of mine in the Body. How many times are we afraid of getting our hands dirty doing Kingdom work? I thank God that He, in His infinite mercy, brought a few special teachers into my life. They didn't seem to mind if I left smudges on their lives. Their investment in me helped me in more ways than I can list here.
Do you know what's fascinating about the Touch-me-not? When its seedpod is touched, it will burst open, throwing seed in all direction. My life was touched by these teachers. Like the flower, I have been able to expel the seeds that He has planted deep in my soul. They go where He directs them and are used for His purposes. It thrills me to know that He has plans for me and that He has a part for me to play in other people's lives. How thankful I am that those teachers were not afraid to get their hands dirty by touching my life!
I had changed my profile picture not too long ago to this one of the wildflower Indian Pipe. It is quite a unique flower in that it always appears white because it lacks chlorophyll and cannot produce its own food. It receives its nourishment from dead or decaying plant materials. Indian Pipe is also known as Corpse Plant. Its bright white color reminds me somewhat of bones, giving me a visual reminder of this second name. It would certainly never be mistaken for a beauty in a traditional kind of way. I do think that it is strangely beautiful, if not a bit odd.
Some of my best "conversations" with God have been when He speaks to me through His awesome creation. In the midst of recent spiritual warfare, God pointed out to me that I, like this flower, would have to associate myself with death. Some things need to die in me. Praise God that some things are dying in me as I fight on. We tend to have a fear of death and pain, but it produces such beauty and freedom if we will just entrust ourselves to Him. Have I loved the dying moments I have encountered? Certainly not! I could not run away fast enough. My loving Father, though, has a wonderful way of getting me alone with Him and lavishing me with His love and faithfulness. He is so extraordinarily patient with me as I fear the kind of surrender that He is waiting for, but each small "death" along the way draws me nearer to that goal.