For Beauty…

Proverbs 24:26-34  “I went past the field of the sluggard…”

And realized it was me. I had stopped in at my neighbor’s house, and we walked around the yard, admiring the neat vegetable garden. I spotted dashes of color over at the back of our yard, and led her over, wanting to show off my garden, too. Poppies had taken over a little plot we’d dug a couple of years earlier, but they were fading, leaving no doubt as to the last time someone—ah, me—had paid any attention. Thistles showed through the drying narrow leaves of the flowers, and some kind of creeping green thing wound around the stems. It contrasted with the red petals of the poppies, fallen like so many drops of blood.

“Thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds…” I was glad it was not vegetables that I had to pick and preserve that were being choked. I compared my poor attempts at fleeting beauty with my neighbor’s practicality. I knew that what she grew would be enjoyed through the winter. Her food was a testament to her judgment, while my flowers were a testament to my lack thereof. Sure, beauty is important. But if I care about it, then I’ll care for it.

The first words of excuse to my mind, “well, it’s been raining,” felt lame, even to me. I looked up at the beautiful blue sky, then down at the brown spots on the lawn where grass dried up and went into hibernation mode. “An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips,” Solomon whispered in my other ear. I looked at my neighbor. “I guess I have a bit of catching up to do,” I said. She smiled.

We walked back for a cup of tea before returning to our prospective chores. I “learned a lesson from what I saw”:  poverty of spirit is as obvious as physical poverty.

Lord, how I take care of your bounty is a testament to how I respect you in my life. Remind me daily to put forth my best effort in all that I do.

Lisa Lickel About Lisa Lickel

Lisa Lickel enjoys the Wisconsin good life, where she ponders and writes. The author of inspirational novels, she is also the editor of Creative Wisconsin Magazine for the Wisconsin Writers Association.

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