Rev. Caroline Noll, Associate Pastor
It’s funny how perspectives change.
When I was a kid I loved dandelions. Don’t most kids?
Yellow flowers to pick and give to mom or tuck behind your ear or make a flower ring.
Seed heads to blow and poof into the wind. They were so exciting and pretty!
And then one day I’m grown up and we bought a home. With a yard. And weeds!
And I learned all about lawn companies and fertilizers and weed killers.
Who decided that a lawn needs to be monotonous Bermuda grass?
I don’t know, but they did a tremendous sales job, and I too wanted every green thing that was not grass banished from my yard.
Several years ago I started hearing talk about bees and natural pollinators.
I learned that dandelions are actually good and healthy for many things.
Then two years ago I attended a conference in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
It was June, and there were beautiful yellow flowers, tall, lush with greens, growing everywhere.
I bet the blooms were two inches across easy and the plants were a foot high.
I asked a local what kind of flower they were.
It is against the law to kill them there because they recognize how good they are for the planet.
These days, my kids do the flower picking and dandelion blowing. The rest of the dandelions I leave be.
Sure, we mow, but I’ve just come to see them as part of nature. My perspective has changed, more than once.
It can be a difficult transition to move from something we think is absolutely a pest, wrong, invasive, unwanted, disruptive of our vision toward that moment of acceptance, peace, and understanding of what is best for the wholeness and healing and health of a bigger vision.
It reminds me of the story of Saul.
Scripture tells us he grew up in Tarsus, loved the language of the synagogue, and seriously studied the Hebrew Bible.
He worshipped faithfully and worked hard to keep all the laws of the Torah.
He had no patience for followers who did not. He felt compelled to stop the Followers of the Way, the followers of Jesus.
Saul’s perspective changed.
In Acts 9 we read where his vision was literally changed. His old sight was gone.
With his new sight came a new vision, and new understanding of what God wanted him to do and how he could best serve God.
He began to travel throughout the Roman Empire, using his Roman name, Paul, giving witness of a story changed from hate to love.
I’m thankful Saul got on board.
I’m thinking that working against God’s vision of the kingdom is about as pointless as me pulling dandelions.
Thankfully, there are plenty of children and nature lovers out there blowing dandelions to their hearts’ content.
And thankfully, God’s promise and invitation to journey together toward a kingdom more loving that we can ever imagine is just as abundant.
Let’s journey together with God, with one another, with the world.