I have a small tattoo on my left wrist of a delicate spray of flowers. Now before you make any conclusions, I’m not writing about the implications of tattoos. We aren’t discussing if they are right or wrong (though the first sentence essentially provides my opinion on that). Let’s just leave that aside for now. I’m writing because there is a beautiful significance to these particular flowers, and I believe it will inspire hope and joy in you as it does in me.
Growing up, I was blessed to live close to family. One set of grandparents lived next door, and another lived across the street. Many days when I got off the school bus I would skip to my grandparents’ house across the road before going home. Yup, I’m a skipper – I still am. My Grandma Ellen would give me a bowl of ice cream with peanut butter. Mmm (Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it.)
She was beautiful inside and out. I wanted so much to be like her, and still do. She also had a green thumb and taught me about flowers and gardening. It worked for me because this little tomboy loved playing in the dirt. As we dug in the soil and spread the seeds, she would tell me that it was like planting hope and joy in the world. God would take the seeds of love and kindness we planted, and they would grow into beautiful flowers of joy and hope for others to enjoy.
I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I know that one of my life’s purposes is that other’s joy in Christ might overflow because of my being with them (See Phil 1:26). The beautiful little flowers on my wrist are a constant reminder to me. I am to be planting good seeds for the benefit of others.
The tattoo is on my wrist at my hand because that is what God asks us to use – to actively share whatever he puts in our hand – for His glory. The flowers face outward, toward others, because they are not only for my benefit; they are for them. And these specific flowers are taken from a painting by my grandmother, another of her many talents. I did add in an extra daisy in honor of my mom, which I’m sure my grandma would have absolutely loved.
You are planting seeds all the time. Your interactions, your reactions and responses, even your smiles or frowns. What seeds are you planting? Seeds of love, hope and joy, or seeds of discontent and discord? It’s a big question in our world today. Are your hands idol or busy scattering seeds for God to use?
Another interesting thing about my Grandma & Grandpa Spray across the street is that they were not blood relatives at all. My mom’s mother died when I was barely walking, and this dear couple scooped up our family and made us theirs. If you really want to plant joy in someone’s life, find a family in need of love and give them yours.
Did you catch the nuance? The lovely reminder of Grandma & Grandpa Spray and all I learned is a delicate spray of flowers. Imagery is significant. It creates memories. It reminds us of what is important and cements what matters most. It is why Jesus spoke in parables and the Bible is full of imagery. It’s how we learn and remember.
But to be significant, imagery must be followed by action. Now that you are reminded, what can you do to spread seeds of hope and joy today? No – I don’t mean a tattoo, but planting must be active and practical. And it must be positive. The possibilities are endless, and I pray that you take what God is putting in your hand right now and use it for the benefit of others. Their joy will overflow and so will yours!
Be a gardener of beautiful things. Let those flowers grow everywhere you go!
– love, Ginger