There is something so utterly charming about the motley gathering of wild flowers on roadside banks and abandoned scrub lands. ‘Ox Eye’ daisies being my favourite. They don’t need permission or instruction to thrive and yet are unrivalled in their beauty. They surrender to their location, respond instinctively to the season and push up joyfully, recklessly for their moment in the sun. They don’t last forever, but ‘boy’ do I love them. I wait for them with eager anticipation.
Shame some consider them weeds.
Geraniums are so very different. They are bold and brash and demand the best spots in our gardens. In contrast to the responsive, spontaneous daisy, they require maximum fuss and bother. Imagine a geranium telling a daisy how to thrive…
…You will come in a packet. Read the instructions!! Make sure you are planted mid to late Jan or you will have missed it! Two or three seeds in a plastic pot to begin with, covered by a plastic bag, in a warm place. When you begin sprouting 12 to 16 weeks later, you be planted out on your own! Stay in the sunshine, remain moist and keep your tops pinched out so you stay bushy and compact. You must not be planted out until the frosts have finished! That would be fatal.
It is hard for a geranium to understand a daisy. They are just so very, very, different.
I spend a lot of time thinking about how a ‘creative’ can thrive in the church. If we were to make a huge sweeping statement and compare a church leader to a geranium and a ‘creative’ church member to a daisy, it does help a little to explain why it is not always an easy relationship. Leaders need a formula to keep things flowing, neat and tidy. One Sunday morning follows hot on the heals of another and the pace requires robust discipline. Sticking to the ‘instructions.’
In contrast, creatives are generally ‘feelers.’ They might be in the full flush and heat of an energetic and ‘inspired’ season of intense activity, or scraping the miserable barrel in the valley of ‘writers block.’
The truth is we need both types. When wild daisies are fresh and abundant – we celebrate them. But when they fade – bring out the geraniums! There are many times when they have loved me back to life!
I celebrate my church leaders as they value creativity and they value me. I admire their stamina. It blesses me. Sometimes I do feel stifled by their tendency to plan and plot based on tried and tested method. It is then that I have to be brave and say, ‘how about leaning into the spontaneous and creative work of the Holy Spirit and see what new thing He is doing? It could be fun and surprising!’
Jesus was so incredibly open handed with ALL types. When the disciples questioned the methods of others sharing the gospel ‘outside’ of their intimate group, Jesus told them to stand back, take a risk and let the wheat and the weeds grow up together. ‘If you pull out the weeds you could pull out the good stuff too’, He said.
That is the amazing thing about Jesus. Just when we think something is a ‘weed,’ it turns out to hold the greatest value! It’s best to let him decide.