Fly-In Diner by Barb Witt

“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31 NIV)

picture courtesy of Pixabay

Geraldine studied the leaf she had plucked from the tree in her front yard. She was an art student and had been assigned the task of doing a watercolor painting, in great detail, of something in nature. She had chosen a leaf, thinking, “How hard can painting a leaf be?”

After several failed attempts, she finally went back outside and got another leaf off the tree. She held them both up in the sunlight and noticed the leaves were not just one solid color of green. There were several shades of green intertwined and even some yellow and a little brown here and there. The veining in the leaves was far more complicated than she imagined. It seemed to reach out to all sections of the leaf, to send nourishment where needed. It looked delicate and skillfully woven. A bug had taken a few bites from one leaf.

She laughed. She had never thought of a leaf as a ‘Fly-In Diner’ before.

She held the leaves up to the sunlight once more,  and one appeared to be nearly transparent,  more so than the other, the sun marking the intricate details that could be missed if you looked at them without its help. One was a little greener than the other, less yellow.

Geraldine carried the leaf with the bug bite back in the house. She sat at her drawing/painting easel and studied the leaf some more. As she did, she talked to her Father about it.

“Father, You’re amazing. Look at this leaf. Something we take for granted every day. You made it so beautiful. And not only is it beautiful, it also has the task of transforming sunlight into food, or energy, for the tree*.  And, in turn, the tree provides homes for birds, shade from the sun and food for Your tinier creatures. I just think that’s amazing.”

Geraldine started a new painting, chatting with her Father as her brush strokes formed the intricate detail of the common leaf we see every day. She wanted to show just how beautiful the leaf is. And so she added the colors as she saw them, detailed the veining as elegant as it was on the leaf and even included the place where the bug had dined, and painted that bug flying away after his meal. That made her laugh again.

When she finished, she sat back and looked at her painting, and said, “Well, Father, it’s not as beautiful as Yours, but it’ll do. Thank You for opening my eyes to the detail You put into everything You created. I can’t wait to go back outside and take a closer look at flowers, and tree bark, and even some bugs. Show me, Lord, I want to look deeper into Your handiwork.” Then she went outside and got lost in the gloriousness of God’s creation.

*photosynthesis

Fly-In Diner (© Barb Witt 6/27/2020)

And now, we pray…

Lord, we stand in awe of all You have created in this world and above and around it. The stars, the moon, other planets, all the animals and fishes and insects. And You created all of these things in six days. Thank You, Lord, You are magnificent and a Wonder to be praised.

In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN!

About the Author:

Barb Witt is a Christian wife, mother and grandmother who loves gardening, quilting, crafting, writing poetry and devotions, and is working on a children’s book. She has created an email devotional and prayer warrior ministry that she sends out daily. If you’re interested in being added to her email list let us know.

God’s Wildflowers by Catherine Hershberger

“Nevertheless, some good is found in you…” (2 Chronicles 19:3 ESV)

picture courtesy of Pixabay

Over the years, my husband and I have done a lot traveling to various locations across the United States. On one summer, as we sped down the grey strip of highway to Missouri, I couldn’t help but notice the wildflowers along the road brightening the green landscape. White Queen Anne’s lace frosted the hollows, and waving green stems dotted with tiny blue and yellow flowers covered the edge of the road. Plate-sized white blooms, resembling hibiscus, trailed over fences and climbed corn stalks, obviously weeds to the farmers and very out of place in the gigantic corn fields sporting yellow tassels.

I couldn’t identify the weedy blue and yellow wildflowers, but I know they, along with the Queen Anne’s lace, are not things most gardeners cultivate in their gardens. In fact, we vigorously try to eradicate such things from our home landscapes. Yet, all these flowers are beautiful in drifts along the road, and I love to look at them.

Like a gardener who wants an immaculately groomed flowerbed, God couldn’t tolerate the weeds of sin in his Garden of Eden. When Adam and Eve disobeyed and blighted the landscape with sin, God yanked them out of his unspoiled garden and tossed them outside the fence, much like I’ve done with the weeds in my garden.

I mercilessly trash my weeds no matter how pretty their flowers might be, because I don’t want them to ever show up in my garden again.  But God was kinder to humanity than I am to my weeds. Even though they were no longer inside the boundaries of the garden gates, God still saw Adam and Eve’s, and ultimately our, potential for beauty. Through Christ’s sacrifice, He provided a way for us all to become part of his garden once again.  

As I admired the weedy, flower-filled berms and hollows along the roadway that summer day, I whispered a “Thank you,” to God for being able to see the beauty of weeds in bloom. Because, except for the grace of God, I am only a weed along the roadside, waiting for a home in a perfect Garden of Eden.

Do you see the beauty of wildflowers in a landscape?  More importantly, do you see the beauty and potential in God’s children, even those who might not be beautiful on the outside?

God’s Wildflowers (© Catherine Hershberger 8/19/13)

About the Author:

Catherine is a member of Greendale First Church of Christ. She is also an award-winning author of sweet and inspirational romance under the pen name of Catherine Castle. Many of her devotions have appeared on various places on the internet. You can find her books on her Amazon Author page or at Barnes and Noble.

Best Friends by Barb Witt

“When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.”

(Psalm 94:19 ESV)

Bonnie and Caroline burst into Edna’s room. If they weren’t such good friends, she’d have been very angry. But truth was, she needed them just now. She hadn’t been able to eat much since the accident. She hadn’t slept well either. She couldn’t even find the strength to climb out of bed.

“Honey, you need to get out of that bed. You’ve been in there way too long,” Caroline said as she peeked at her under the covers where Edna had buried her head.

“Yeah, you’re pretty ripe. You need a shower girlfriend,” Bonnie held her nose.

Edna couldn’t help but burst out in laughter. She sat up laughing and crying at the same time, She threw her legs over the side of the bed, and her friends hugged her.

As all three blubbered and caterwauled loudly, the nurse ran in the door. “Is everything all right in here?” she asked, looking at the three women sitting on the bed with their arms around each other.

“Yeah, we’re okay,” Caroline said through sniffs and snorts while wiping her eyes on a tissue.

“Nurse, Ms. Edna here could sure use a shower, can you help her with that? We’ll change her sheets while you take care of her, okay?” Bonnie held her nose again.

“I’d be happy to,” the nurse said with a grin.  “Come on, Edna, let’s get you cleaned up.” She got Edna’s walker and helped her into the bathroom.

When she was all cleaned up, Edna opened the bathroom door to a freshly made bed and a TV tray with a plate of eggs and bacon, toast, and a cup of steaming coffee. Bonnie and Caroline stood behind her chair, smiling at her as only her two best friends could.

“Come on, Edna, sit down and have some breakfast,” Caroline said.

“Yeah, we made it just for you.” Bonnie snorted a laugh.  “Not! We got it from the cafeteria.”

Edna sat down, smiling as she looked at the feast in front of her. Suddenly her tummy growled loud and long. “Oh my! I must be hungry after all,” she exclaimed.

“We’re really sorry about your granddaughter, Edna,” Caroline said. “We know how close you two were. She was so young.”

“Yeah, it’s such a shame,” said Bonnie. “Drunk driving should be against the law.”

That made Edna and Caroline laugh.

“Yes, it is a shame,” Edna said. “She was on her way home from college for a long weekend visit with her parents and out of nowhere another car T-Boned her. The paramedics tried to save her, but it just wasn’t meant to be.” Tears rolled down Edna’s cheeks as she thought about her granddaughter. Such a lovely girl. “But I do know that I’ll see her again when I get to heaven. And that’s something I can look forward to. And I know she wouldn’t want me sitting here moping either. I will miss her. A lot. And I have my memories to cherish.” Edna wiped away the tears.

After Edna finished her breakfast she grinned at her friends. “Okay, girls, let’s go see what mischief we can get into today.”

Bonnie and Caroline laughed, and said in unison, “All right! Let’s go, girlfriend!”

They all walked out the door talking and laughing and Edna whispered a prayer, “Thank You,  Lord for these friends. And please say ‘Hello’ to my granddaughter. Tell her I can’t wait to see her again.”

Best Friends (© Barb Witt 1/7/2020)

And now we pray…

Lord, thank You for Your comfort which comes in many forms. One of the best is through our friends. Thank You for the strength of friendships and for the support they give. Thank You for everything.

In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN!

About the Author:

Barb Witt is a Christian wife, mother and grandmother who loves gardening, quilting, crafting, writing poetry and devotions, and is working on a children’s book. She has created an email devotional and prayer warrior ministry that she sends out daily. If you’re interested in being added to her email list let us know.

Beauty by Barb Witt

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (1 Peter 3:4-5 NIV)

photo courtesy of Pixabay

I stood in the door of the classroom and grinned as I watched the children laugh and smile and follow the instructions of the reader as she leads them through movements to match the story she is telling. The children are entranced and do not take their eyes off her as she tells of magical imaginary things. She comes to the class each week to read to the children. They love her, and she loves them. She brings new stories of adventure that keep the children’s attention longer than most.

The first time I saw her, I must admit, I was a bit shocked. She is not very tall and stooped at the shoulder. She walks with a walker and carries an oxygen tank. She has a large scar on her face and wears her hair to cover as much of it as she can.

Every evening she sits at her desk in her modest home and writes stories for the children. She always manages to work in a moral to teach the children the love of God and of His Son, Jesus. Her stories are fun and interesting.

Her life has not been easy. Some would call her ugly. But to the children, there is no one more beautiful. Her beauty comes from her heart and soul. Her beauty comes from her love of her Father in heaven. And she shares this with the little ones, for they see past the physical and look at the beauty within.

And so, we should learn to see people from the inside-out. We need to look for the inward beauty that shimmers through the eyes and smile, and not what’s on the outside alone. We need to see people as Jesus does. Look past the deformities of human life and see the loveliness of the heart. For anyone can dress up the outside, but the inside is where true beauty lies.

And now, we pray…

Father, we ask that You help us look at people from the inside-out. Help us to see the beauty we all carry on the inside. Allow us to see past the ugliness of life and drink in Your love that shines through eyes and smiles. Open our eyes to the beauty You have bestowed in every heart.

In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN!

Beauty (© Barb Witt 9/2019)

About the Author:

Barb Witt is a Christian wife, mother and grandmother who loves gardening, quilting, crafting, writing poetry and devotions, and is working on a children’s book. She has created an email devotional and prayer warrior ministry that she sends out daily. If you’re interested in being added to her email list let us know.

No Greater Sacrifice by Catherine Hershberger

“…where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2nd Cor. 3:17 ESV)

In a  few days, on July 4, we will celebrate Independence Day, a day set aside to commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 by the Continental Congress, whereby the thirteen colonial states declared themselves a new nation. They called the new nation The United States of America, and avowed they would no longer be a part of the British Empire.

The cost of freedom from Britain was not small. One in 20 able-bodied, white, free males died during the war:  6,800 were killed in action, 6,100 wounded, 17,000 died of disease, 20,000 were taken prisoner, and this is just a count of white American soldiers. I couldn’t find a source that quoted how many black soldiers or Native American soldiers who fought on the revolutionary side died. In addition, almost every one of the founding fathers lost most, or all, of their personal wealth funding the war.

Because of the actions of these brave men, today you and I live in a country that is free. We are not under the tyranny of a dictator. We are not under the thumb of Communism or Fascism. We are not under the dictates of kings or despots who answer to no one. We are free to elect the men and women we want to represent us in this great country of ours, and we have a say in how our country is run.

And because we live in a free country, we are able worship as we choose. Here in America we often take freedom of worship for granted. In other parts of the world Christians are not as lucky. They are forbidden by civil laws to worship, persecuted for their beliefs, and even killed for their faith.

As Christians we also have a liberty others don’t. Ours is not a liberty granted by our founding fathers or other men. But liberty only God could provide us. We have liberty from sin. This doesn’t mean we’re perfect. Far from it.  “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3: 23) Liberty from sin means that the Lord, Jesus Christ, has paid a price for our freedom from the punishment of sin. He has given his life to ensure we may one day live in a new world, free from the tyranny of sin and Satan’s grip.

So this July, and every day, remember to celebrate all the freedoms we have in America. Freedoms that were so dearly bought with American lives. And thank the Father above for the freedom Jesus bought us on the cross. For there is no greater sacrifice than to lay down your life for another.

May God Bless America, and you, with liberty and freedom. And I pray that you may be part of his eternal freedom in Christ Jesus, the Lord.

No Greater Sacrifice (© Catherine Hershberger 7/4/16)

About the Author:

Catherine is a member of Greendale First Church of Christ. She is also an award-winning author of sweet and inspirational romance under the pen name of Catherine Castle. Many of her devotions have appeared on various places on the internet. You can find her books on her Amazon Author page or at Barnes and Noble.

Daylily Comforts by Catherine Hershberger

As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you.” (Isaiah 66:13 KJV)

Photo by Catherine Hershberger

The orange daylilies pictured above have their origins in my mother’s garden. They aren’t blooming today, June 23rd, but they will soon burst into the flowers you see pictured above and below. These daylilies, which are now scattered around my yard, my daughter’s yard, my sisters’ yards, and the yards of several friends, have been a constant reminder of my mother wherever I’ve been. They’ve been planted in Texas, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky. Maybe a few other states, too, as friends and family who’ve been gifted with the flowers have moved around the USA.

A beautiful orange color, these daylilies have triple layered blooms, and in the 40 years they have been in my gardens they always, always bloom for me around July 4.

Except for one year.

On Sunday June 13, 2010, my brother-in-law died suddenly in the night while hospitalized. It was quite a shock to the family as we had been expecting him to be released in the next few days. While helping my sister plan the funeral, the discussion about flowers arose.  I mentioned Mom’s daylilies had started to bloom early. I had noticed buds on the flowers on May 30, and had written it in my garden log, but had not expected them to bloom until July 4, as they always did. Instead, one of the daylily beds was full of blooms in early June. My daisies, which are my sister’s favorite flowers, were also blooming early. My sister said she would love to have some of Mom’s flowers to put around the casket. My brother-in-law was close to my mother, who had gone to her reward many years prior. My sister thought having Mom’s flowers there would be like having her at the funeral.

Since daylily blooms only last one day, on the morning of the viewing and funeral I cut enough daylilies and daisies to fill three vases: one from me, one from my youngest sister, and one from my daughter. After the funeral the grieving family took the vases home. The buds on the daylily stems continued to bloom until they were all spent.

In all the years that have followed, Mom’s daylilies have not bloomed in early June. They are back to their normal bloom cycle: buds in late June, blooms bursting onto the scene on July 4.

To the average person this is just probably just an ordinary story of flowers blooming because of an unusual flowering season. To a gardener who believes in miracles, this event holds the touch of God’s hand in it. For my sister there was something comforting in seeing those lilies surrounding her husband’s casket. And I must also admit I felt my mother’s presence that year when her lilies brought a bit of solace into a mournful time.

My mother’s daylilies brought our family consolation at a time of sadness, but God’s love brings a comfort that surpasses any our mothers, memories of our mothers, or other loved ones here on earth could ever hope to provide. God walks beside us every day. He holds us in His hands and lifts us up when we are weary. He folds us in His arms when we are brokenhearted. He gently guides us when we need leading. He provides for us when we have needs.

And when we need it most, He sends us reminders of His presence. In June of 2010 He sent my family’s reminder through bouquets of orange daylilies.

What about you? Has God ever given you an unexpected comfort in a time of need?

Daylily Comforts (© Catherine Hershberger 7/23/2018)

 

About the Author:

Catherine is a member of Greendale First Church of Christ. She is also an award-winning author of sweet and inspirational romance under the pen name of Catherine Castle. Many of her devotions have appeared on various places on the internet. You can find her books on her Amazon Author page or at Barnes and Noble.

Tea Party by Barb Witt

“Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.”

(Psalm 17:8 NIV)

Photo Courtesy of PikWizard

As he watched his daughter have a tea party with her stuffed animals and listened to her sweet voice, his heart melted. He loved her so much.

What was that old saying? he thought. Oh, yeah, she’s ‘the apple of my eye’. She is certainly that.

He continued to watch as she played and then she burst into song entertaining her stuffed animal friends. There was nothing he wouldn’t do for her. He’d give his life for her. He had never loved anyone the way he loved his little girl.

“Is this how You feel about us, Father?” he prayed softly, “When You look at us, does Your heart melt? Do You smile as You watch us go through life? I think You do. I think this because I know You gave Your Son for us as a living sacrifice. He died and rose again so that we can live with You through eternity. Now I understand. I understand how much You love us. I can see why You did what You did. There is nothing so powerful as the love between a parent and their child. And I am honored to be called a child of the King. Thank You for Your love, Father. And I love You, too.”

His little girl came running over to him with a tiny teacup in her hand. “Want some tea, Daddy? It’s really good. And I made your favorite pretend cookies, too.” She smiled at him as she stuffed a pretend cookie in his mouth, and he drank the pretend tea she had brought him.

“Thank you, Nugget. That’s the best tea and cookie I ever ate,” he said as he smiled at the little angel standing in front of him. She giggled and ran back to her tea party to serve more tea and cookies to her stuffed animal friends.

And now we pray…

Lord, we can’t thank You or praise You enough for the love shower upon us. We live in this world of sin, and You have not left us here alone. Even on the darkest days, the shadow of Your wing hovers over us. Thank You for loving us as You do. Thank You for everything.

In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN!

Tea Party (©Barb Witt 1/9/2020)

About the Author:

Barb Witt is a Christian wife, mother and grandmother who loves gardening, quilting, crafting, writing poetry and devotions, and is working on a children’s book. She has created an email devotional and prayer warrior ministry that she sends out daily. If you’re interested in being added to her email list let us know.

Picking Dandelions by Catherine Hershberger

“Create in me a clean heart, O, God, and renew a right spirit within me.”

Psalm 51:10 (ESV)

Photo by Catherine Hershberger

When my daughter was young, I often had scads of dandelion bouquets on the table. We didn’t use weed killer, since I didn’t want to expose my daughter to the chemicals, and our lawn was a canvas of yellow polka dots on a green background. Day-after-day, she would come into the house after playtime, clutching as many dandelions as her tiny hands could hold. I took them with a smile, put them in a vase, and proudly displayed them. I encouraged her to pick those bright yellow flowers from our lawn whenever she saw them.

Yes, I enjoyed seeing her little face beam as she handed me her gift.

No, I never told her they were really weeds.

And yes, I did feel a bit guilty encouraging her to clean the yard of blooms. After all, no yellow dandelions dotting the grass meant a yard that at least looked weed-free. And if by some miracle she managed to pick a billion dandelions before they went to seed, I might actually have a weed-free lawn.

Or maybe not.

I knew there was no way my little weed picker would ever be able to rid the lawn of dandelions. Yet I kept encouraging her to pick those flowers.

Are you saying, “Oh, you bad mommy!” yet?

Before you do, consider this: The way I used my unsuspecting daughter to weed the lawn, is often the way we weed our lives. We pluck the tops off of our sins, effectively hiding them from the world and fooling ourselves into thinking we’re cleaning up our life. And all the while, the weed roots just grow deeper, because we haven’t taken the time to root out the bad stuff that lies below ground.

Luke 12:2 says “Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.” (ESV)

We can keep plucking the heads of our sins so they aren’t visible to the world, but the Lord can still see them all. So, which will you choose?  A vase full of dandelions with the potential for even more deeply rooted ones to grow? Or would you rather pluck out as many as you can root out from the stubborn soil? The latter is the more effective, and more long lasting, way to have a clean lawn … and a clean heart.

About the Author:

Catherine is a member of Greendale First Church of Christ. She is also an award-winning author of sweet and inspirational romance under the pen name of Catherine Castle. Many of her devotions have appeared on various places on the internet. You can find her books on her Amazon Author page or at Barnes and Noble.

Hide and Seek by Barb Witt

O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; my soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. (Psalm 63:1 NASB)

http://Children Playing Girl – Free photo on Pixabay

Jane ducked behind the trash can in the ally. She had to catch her breath. She was small enough that the can hid her completely. Her pursuers were close on her heels. She had to make it back home before they found her. She peeked out; the coast was clear. She tiptoed to the end of the alley. Quietly, quietly. She peeked around the corner. Home was just a few feet away. And there was a big bush between her and home. If she could just run fast enough, she could get to the bush without being seen.

 One, two, three, go! She ran as quickly and quietly as she could. Whew! She made it. Now to get to the porch safely. She peeked through the branches. No one in sight. Oh, there was her brother on the other side of the house.  He was looking the other way. She might make it if she was really quiet and fast. Her brother took a few steps further down the grass on the side of the house. This was her chance. She looked around one more time. No one else in sight.

“Okay,” she whispered. “Here I go!” She ran with all her might. She even closed her eyes for a second thinking it would propel her forward faster. Almost there.

“Hey! I see you Jane,” her brother, Andy, hollered as he ran around the side of the house.

Only a few more steps. They both raced to the ribbon tied around the porch post at the top of the steps.

“You don’t have a chance, Jane. I’m bigger and faster than you,” Andy taunted.

Jane didn’t say a word. She was saving her breath to get her to the porch post. Almost there…almost… “Ha! I beat you!” Jane shouted in victory as she held onto the ribbon, trying to catch her breath just as Andy reached the bottom step. She did a victory dance on the porch, still holding onto the ribbon. Shortly, the other children started running to home base. Trying to beat Andy to the ribbon.

Melody watched her children as they played ‘Hide and Seek’. She smiled at her daughter’s victory.

Hmmm. You know, isn’t life a lot like hide and seek? she thought. We all try to make it to ‘home base’, which to me is the foot of the cross. We try to get there before Satan and his minions can catch us and keep us from reaching our goal. No matter how hard we try, there are times when we are seen, and even caught. But Jesus provides cover for us along our journey. He gives us a place to hide and refreshes us with His word. He comforts us and encourages us along the way. Isn’t that fantastic? Our Lord takes the time to accompany us along our way and even takes care of us and guides us.

She thought about her philosophy for a while. Then she looked heavenward and said, “Thank You Lord, for helping us get past the hurdles and obstacles Satan puts in our paths. Thank You for refreshing our souls and filling us with Your love every time we need it. You are truly amazing.”

As she carried a pitcher of lemonade and a plate of cookies out for the children, she smiled. They all ran to her with grins and laughter as she handed them the treats, which they gobbled down like little baby birds.

And now, we pray…

Lord, You are so amazing. It’s hard for us sometimes to understand just what You do for us day by day. Help us to give You credit and many thanks for all You do for each and every one of us. In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN!

Hide and Seek (© Barb Witt 2/24/2020)

About the Author:

Barb Witt is a Christian wife, mother and grandmother who loves gardening, quilting, crafting, writing poetry and devotions, and is working on a children’s book. She has created an email devotional and prayer warrior ministry that she sends out daily. If you’re interested in being added to her email list let us know.

Flowers for the Living by Catherine Hershberger

“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God .And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (ESV)

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

When my mother was alive we always went down to Kentucky on Memorial Day, May 31st, and visited the family graveyard where we put flowers on the graves of her brothers, parents, cousins, and any other graves that had been forgotten by their family members. Every year she’d walk around and point out the gravestones and tell us stories about the people who’d passed beyond the pale existence of this earth. Every year she’d admonish our young daughter not to step on the graves, like she’d warned me when I was a child. Every year she’d weep for those who had left this world before her.

Mom was raised in the church, and knew she’d see those faithful souls in her family when Christ came again as promised, but she never failed to weep at the graves of her family. It pained me to see her cry and it confused me, especially as an adult who’d made a conscious decision to celebrate the lives of my Christian family and friends when they left this world. After all, I knew without a doubt that I’d see them again when God calls us all home. The Bible tells me so.

Remembering our loved ones who have died has a place in our lives, but remembering them while they are here is even more important. Years ago I wrote a poem called Flowers for the Living. I’d like to share the poem with you today.

Flowers For the Living

They asked for flowers in their lives,

and so I gave them all the ruby roses

they could hold, surrounding

them with lives of lasting love.

They asked for flowers in their lives,

and so I gave them daffodils

and golden tulips, harbingers

of hope and new beginnings.

They asked for flowers in their lives,

and so I gave them sunny fields

of daisies, faces turned toward

the sun reflecting back life’s glow.

They asked for flowers in their lives,

and so I gave them baby’s breath

bound in pastel ribbons, tiny

bouquets of joy from Heaven’s womb.

picture courtesy of Pixabay

They asked for flowers in their lives,

and so I gave them all I had

of happiness and love—then laid a

single tear-stained rose on granite.

(© Catherine Hershberger 10/16/93)

I’m not in any way suggesting we forget those who’ve gone before us. The concept of Memorial Day, or Decoration Day as my mother called it, is specifically meant to remember the dead—especially the soldiers who have died in wars helping to keep America a free nation. However, I do feel when we give everything to those we love while they are here on earth we have more peace in our hearts when they’re gone.

I also understand the need to mourn. I mourned those loved ones in my life who die. I mourned because they were physically gone from my presence. I mourned because I was sad for my loss. Do I miss them? Not as much as I used to, but I have fond memories of them that keep them alive in my heart. Am I assured that I’ll see them all again? Absolutely!

Revelation 14:15 says “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord…” This assurance is one of the great blessings my faith offers me.  Knowing, that as Christians, I and my loved ones will be caught up into Heaven on judgment day and reunited gives me peace.

This year, on Memorial Day, I hope this understanding gives you comfort as you remember your loved ones who’ve gone before you. And if you don’t have this peace, I’d encourage you to seek out Christ. He’s the one who will give you blessings beyond this world and this life.

Flowers for the Living (© Catherine Hershberger 5/19/21)

About the Author:

Catherine is a member of Greendale First Church of Christ. She is also an award-winning author of sweet and inspirational romance under the pen name of Catherine Castle. Many of her devotions have appeared on various places on the internet. You can find her books on her Amazon Author page or at Barnes and Noble.

Women’s Devotions, Memorial Day, 2nd Coming of Christ, Death, Judgement day, Everlasting life, Blessings, Poetry, Faith,