Tuesday, June 4, 2013



Some might have said I arrived too late


that day last week when I went to the arboretum.


The tulips that just a few days prior were in all their glory


were now pretty well spent.


But there is a startling beauty in a life that's been poured out.


Breathtaking, really.


Could it be true that a life that's beyond its greatest beauty


hasn't even seen its better days yet?


Yesterday I had the privilege of sitting around the table with friends.




I told them about the "June Me", and we laughed, 
because we all know that in every life
something's gotta give.


They are all pouring out their lives.  Some are a little more spent than others.
But I love the way that each is differently spent.


I have this habit of thinking about how much I'm NOT doing.
I'm gonna call it what it is:  white middle-class Christian guilt.
I read articles like this by people I admire (and several I know personally) and think, 
"Why am I not actively involved in helping free young girls from the sex trade?"
for just one example.


But then I look around me, and I realize that for better or worse, and probably neither,
that's not the flower bed where I'm planted at the moment.
As of today
God hasn't put me somewhere more dramatic or tragic.  Yet.
Even though I am trying to pay attention
to what on earth He seems to have in store for me,


I'm here in the suburbs of the U.S. (where yes, I know, sex trafficking and homelessness exist)
and all the friends I saw yesterday are middle-aged, middle class, caucasian women like me.
And not like me.
One trains missionaries.  Two own businesses.
One has a house full to the brim with children and a husband who travels.  
One lives ever so graciously with intense physical pain that she rarely mentions.
They are all pouring out their lives serving the people God has placed around them.


But the one who really got to me?
The one who actually manages to get an awesome dinner on the table.
You know why she has time to do that?  She has a special needs child at home.
He receives in-home therapy, and she has to be there, pretty much 24/7.
She would love to do my "not much".  It looks like a lot to her.
She didn't say that.  She didn't have to.
She is more than spent, and what she has to show for it is, well, a family that is still functioning.
And a beautiful dinner on the table.  At her house, living by grace is delicious.  
She would probably happily settle for my frozen tortellini flavored grace 
if it meant her calendar was filled with kids' activities instead of therapists.
But she is blooming where she is planted.  She is breathtakingly beautiful.
And her son's life story is woven throughout with hope.


Next time I am judging the value of my life
by what I have to show for it in the "productivity" department,
I hope I'll stop
and remember that by that measure we all fail.

Lord, let me instead judge myself on the graciousness and love with which I am spent,
regardless of where, and how, and with whom I am spent.


Deanna said...

This was a beautifully written and illustrated with such a loving heart. Thank you for sharing this beauty. The image with the elderly lady standing and looking at the "spent" blossoms with such a smile on her face brought tears to my eyes. Beauty is always in the eyes of the beholder.

Anonymous said...

Important words, Tracy!!
Cathy B

Skeller said...

i love these photos. i love your words/thoughts even more. and the two things together is positively divine. "bloom where you are planted" indeed.