Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What the Flowers Taught Me

Once upon a time, there was a place
where everything was measured 
in values. Flowers were usually 5
values each, jars were worth 3 and 
buttons were worth half a value. Even people
were measured in values. 
Everyone prided themselves on knowing
their exact value, but there was one girl 
who had trouble calculating hers.

Sometimes the girl knew she was worth
50 values, other times she 
was sure she was only worth 10 and still other
times she convinced herself 
she was worth a 1,000 values.  Every day
the girl would try to tally up her 
value and every day the number would change.
Those around her would shout, "I'm worth
10,000 values." Or, "I'm worth 9,000 values."
Frustrated, she began to lose interest 
in many of the things that normally brought her
joy. After all when you think
you're only worth 20 values, there's
not much you can purchase.

Then one day a beautiful bouquet appeared for the girl. 
"Wow." she said, "this is surely
worth at least 30 values." Someone 
thought she was worth it! She relished
her flowers, taking in their scent, 
tracing their delicate shape with
her eyes and admiring the wonderful, 
bright colors. A few days passed
and the flowers began to droop. 
A few days more and they were all but withered.

Again the girl began to lose interest
in what normally brought her joy, 
but it didn't last long, for another
beautiful bouquet appeared. These 
were more beautiful than the last
and there were more of them too. 
"These are worth at least 50 values."
she said and again she was amazed 
someone would value her so much.

As the days and weeks passed
new bouquets took the place of the 
former and each time they
became more splendid than the last. 
The values increased too- 70
values, 100 values, even 500 values! 
The girl was amazed and began to
wonder where the flowers came from. 
Who was it that thought she was
worth so much? Who gave them? Joy for 
life ebbed back to her like rays
of sunshine and her laughter was 
often heard before she was seen.

One day she came bounding
into the room and caught a boy 
replacing dying flowers for new ones.

You!" she said, "Is it you who's
been increasing my value?"

The boy smiled, "While I am the Messenger
Prince, it is not I, but another, the King, 
who has been trying to show you your value."

Her hearts deepest question tumbled
out of her lips, "What is my value?"

"Why haven't you figured it out yet?"
the boy said. "Your value is higher 
than any number you know.
Indeed it goes beyond infinity."

The girl looked at the boy with
wide eyes. Could she really be 
worth so much? Valued at such
high measures? She looked at the new 
batch of flowers and knew what
he spoke was true. There in front of her 
stood the most exquisite and rare
flowers the world had to offer. One 
petal was worth at least 2,000
values and each flower held at least 50 
petals AND there were about
60 long stem flowers! This alone would 
have been enough for the girl, but
even the color of the flower had a value.

As rare as the flower was it had
only ever been found in yellow, peach 
and pink. These were blood red,
making their value doubled and tripled 
the normal values. To top it
off they sat in the most fragile and
creative crystal vase she had ever
seen. She knew it's value was probably
close to 10,000 values by itself and
here it sat with the rare and precious 
flowers worth more than she could
calculate and they were for her. Not for 
any reason in particular, simply
just because. She was valued more 
than infinity because her King said so.

It was then the girl realized not only
she was worth and valued more than 
infinity, but every citizen was worth
and valued more than infinity, her joy 
increased with new purpose. She
joined the boy, the Messenger Prince 
and became the Messenger
Grace, to help spread the news 
with flowers of great price.
(c) The Lesson of the Flowers by Charis Joy Jackson
for the boys who brought me flowers

This little tale is something God has been teaching me as of late. So often, we as a society let ourselves be defined by what we do, what we wear, what we listen to, who we choose as our friends and so many other things. We let them define our value and are constantly let down because no matter how "cool" we think we are none of those things can give us our true value. There's only One who can say who we really are and it's our choice whether we will listen to Him or not.

I for one am letting Him tell me who I am and you know what! I'm being amazed every day by how much He loves me and how cool He thinks I am. My little story is true, He really did shower me with months and months and months of new flowers. Every week I'd walk into my office and a new bunch of bright beauties would be sitting there, a silent, but fragrant declaration of God's love.

At the beginning of last year I told God I wanted to know what it meant to really be loved.

The Bible says "We love, because He first loved us." (John 4:19) We will never be able to love well until we let Him love us first. It can be a humbling experience to let someone else make the first move and for the first few months of 2012 I was terrified. I had never fully understood why my friends told me they loved me or why they even wanted to hang out with me, but God was determined that I would know what they see and more importantly that I would know what He sees in me.

He started off the year with blessing my heart with the news my sister was cancer free, then He followed that up with the funds and ability to fly home to see my parents.The rest of the year saw many more gifts from my King including a trip away to a fancy resort, another trip to the coast with my Lost Boys, a trip to Melbourne, coffee dates, new dresses, flowers and more. I didn't have to pay for any of it. It was all His gift of love to me.

I'm not saying last year was all daisies and tulips, in fact there were many times of hardship, pain and lost dreams. My sisters cancer came back for one, which was hard for me to understand, but through it God held me in his warm embrace and let me weep on His shoulder. All the while he stroked my hair and cried with me. I knew He really cared, I knew I could really turn to Him in every battle. I knew He loved me beyond any shadow of doubt. Then a few months later my sister was in complete remission, not even a sign of any tumor anywhere, I rejoiced and He rejoiced with me.

Throughout 2012 He taught me the importance of vulnerability in love and reminded me that if I really wanted to accept His love I would have to remove any walls of protection and trust to His good heart for me. It's not an easy thing to let someone so completely in and I am still learning. However, I can say I am completely undone by His goodness and love.

Recently, one of my friends posted a quote from the book Les Miserables, she's reading it at the moment and was being overwhelmed by the author's description of the Priest's relationship with God. I had to smile when I read the quote because it's exactly how I feel at the moment. It read, "He did not study God, he was dazzled by Him..." I am being dazzled by Him too.

"It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God."
Hebrews 10:31  

What about you? Will you take the risk, will you become vulnerable and let your walls down? Will you let the Love of your life show you how GOOD He is? Even if you don't believe in God, what do you have to lose? If He's not real, nothing will change and you can shrug your shoulders and carry on, BUT if He is real (and I know it!) your life may just become the thrilling, terrifying and wonderful experience you've been looking for. So. What do you say? Ready to jump?


  1. Bravo. Nicely written. There is this song that plays on the radio by Ne-Yo, Girl Let Me Love You. I feel like its Gods song to me :)

  2. I'll have to check that song out, you beautiful woman, you. :)

  3. A lovely post, Cari! I love you my sweet, precious sister! And I'm so glad I get to be here longer so we can spend more time together. We have a lot to make up for!

  4. What an encouragement you are. Thank you for sharing your heart - it has uplifted mine.

    1. Thanks Andrea! I'm glad it could uplift your heart :)