Wild Flowers

“The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. (James 1:9, 10)” Poverty hurts. Having lived and worked in a former famine relief camp on the frontier of Kenya, having a line of people at the door searching for food was no fun. We watched children playing toss with the bodies of baby goats that died during the night. How to preach “love” when the congregation sat with eyes sinking into their head? That was a hard time in our lives but it was also a growing time. In the face of famine, people shared resources such as they were, and communication channels among neighbors and friends worked. My first Christmas, my dear friend, Ndirison, gave me a small Christmas tree made from discarded soda bottle tops covered with bit of pieces of green cloth and sewed together with bits of yarn ends to form a tree, complete with a tassel top and fringe on the bottom. Those friends chose an elder to “donate” a cow that was cooked in a barrel at Christmas and pieces were brought to my family, the rich Americans.
Humble circumstances do not mean loss of love or concern for the other nor lack of faith in a God who will carry them til tomorrow. Here in America, no one has knocked on my door begging for a bit of sugar to chase away the headache of withdrawal. No neighbor checks on me in the morning because they heard the baby crying in the night, “Are you OK?” This verse reminds me of the temporariness of life and life’s problems. We are like wild flowers that bloom in the desert and bring beauty and testify of life when everything around us is brown and dry. Poverty and riches are fleeting but relationships with friends and God sustain us forever.
These verses follow the promise of wisdom. Let us not just praise God when all goes well as we think it should but let us be faithful during the dry times too and be like that wild flower that brings joy for a season. Blessings for your day.

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