Dandelions – A Valentine’s Day Message
by Fr. Stephen
Can you tell the difference between a flower and a weed? Many folks in our society view people in prison as weeds. But as Orthodox Christians, we take a different view. We believe that every person has the potential to be a flower—people in prison, and you and me.
Many years ago I had the opportunity to take my oldest daughter to a concert for her birthday present. We went to see her favorite group, Five Iron Frenzy, a Christian Ska band. As we stood in line at a theater in downtown Denver, I began to wonder what I had gotten us into! Drug dealers were walking and driving up and down the street. There were wild looking young folks with huge spiked hair of all colors and lots of body piercings. It would have been easy to look at them as weeds.
As I began to talk with them, though, I saw past the exterior. I found they were all really nice and did their best to help me understand what was going on (I was the oldest guy at the concert, so they were filled with mercy toward me). As it turns out, the band was terrific and their songs had some great messages (my daughter interpreted the words for me). Thankfully there was no sexual garbage, no violence, no cussing, and no suicidal messages. Somehow I came out of it only slightly hearing-impaired (that only lasted for a couple of days) and my legs quit cramping after a day (we stood for about 5 hours straight).
With that as a background, I wanted to share with you the message of one of their songs, called “Dandelions”. As we approach Valentine’s Day, it has a great message for us. The song is about a hopeful little boy who picks a bouquet of dandelions for his mother, which he presents to her with so much love and joy. His mother holds the dandelions to her heart as though they are the most valuable bouquet. “She sees love, where anyone else would see weeds. All hope is found. Here is everything he needs,” the song goes. And then the song turns from the mother and son to us and God: “All that I ever wanted, was to give my best to You…Lord, search my heart, create in me something clean / Dandelions / You see flowers in these weeds.”
I love these lyrics because they remind us that, just as a mother’s love sees flowers where there are weeds, so it is with our loving God. Not only does he see our humble offerings as a treasure but He sees flowers in these weeds that are us! And if there are some “weeds” in our lives…may we see them as God sees them: as flowers!!
May our hearts be right toward God in offering ourselves to Him. “Let us commit ourselves and each other and our whole life to Christ our God!” God’s blessings to each of you on this Valentine’s Day.