I saw the sweetest little moment today. I was sitting in the parking lot with the kids while Patrick ran into the store to grab some things. It was raining, and a couple walked out of the store. The woman opened her umbrella and walked to the car while the man stopped to tie his sneaker. As he followed her across the parking lot, a smile stretched across his face and he pulled out his phone and snapped a picture.
It was just sweet. He thought she was so beautiful walking with her umbrella - it made him smile, made him want to save the moment.
Because love sees beauty.
On our way to Michigan for a family vacation last week, I had the opposite experience. We'd been driving for a few hours and it felt like Vava had whined for every single one. I snapped at her and told her to stop, which (you guessed it) prompted more whining. I lost my temper, yelled at her, and then felt like a rotten parent. And when she whined again less than a minute later, I'd had enough. I asked Patrick to pull over so I could take a walk and cool down before I lost my temper again.
I stalked off up the highway, growling to myself about her whining, picking my way past weeds and occasional litter. After a while, I noticed a stem of tiny little orange flowers blooming, and part of my mind thought "Vava would love those!" And a crankier selfish part stepped stubbornly over them.
And I saw them again, and God gently stopped my mental tirade, asked me what my frustration could accomplish, what purpose could it serve.
It could make me yell and fill me up with rage and ruin our day.
But on the other hand, maybe it's like a check engine light and it could make me aware that something is wrong. Maybe Vava's having a bad day, maybe she needs a little extra love, maybe she needs a bouquet of flowers.
I opened up my ragey, knotted little heart and shook the anger out.
I picked up the flowers and turned back.
I saw some more flowers - blue ones this time; she'd love them. So I picked those too, and found some daisies. I laughed. I'd walked right over all these wildflowers and hadn't seen a thing. Brown-eyed Susans, right in my path. Foxtails and cattails and tiny white stars.
By the time I got back to the car, I had a bouquet. I gave them to a thrilled Vava and told her I loved her and asked what was wrong. We had a quick chat to sort out the problem that was stewing between her and Sam, a hug and kiss and went on our way.
I couldn't stop thinking about the way my anger had made me blind to the blooming wildflowers. I hadn't seen them at all. What had I noticed? Weeds and garbage. But as soon as I chose love? I saw beauty.
Anger and love see such very different things.
I'd kind of forgotten about it until tonight when that happy little vignette reminded me that love sees beauty. So I thought I'd write it down over here and try to remember.
If it's been a weeds and garbage weekend, I hope you have a wildflower Monday tomorrow, friends.