Soft Things

 

I am one of the many recipients who receive an email from Alan Webster, who writes his thoughts in a daily output called Quiet Times.   Often there is food for thought and encouragement for those who need it.

At times I can be a  ‘word-and- phrase catcher’ and so it was with the last QT that came my way,  the phrase – ‘soft  things.’
For some reason it conjured up in me a feeling of gentleness, and I got to thinking about what the ‘soft things’ were that spoke to me personally.
But before I expand on this I want to share with you the Scripture and the particular paragraph that stood out.

The title of his writing is Spring into Life,  – with a nod to the coming season of Spring,
–  and as Hosea writes to those who have fallen away, to return to the road less travelled.

Best_Real_World_Full_HD
Hosea 14:5-7
5.    I will be like the dew to Israel,
He shall grow like the lily,
And lengthen his roots like Lebanon,
6.   His branches shall spread,
His beauty shall be like an olive tree,
And his fragrance like Lebanon.
7.  Those that dwell under his shadow shall return;
They shall be revived like grain,
And grow like a vine
Their scent shall be like the wine of Lebanon.

“What a wonderful picture of awakening is given in these verses by Hosea
Note the gentleness of the Lord who offers  soft things like dew and shade,   

            morning-dew

almost imperceptible touches of grace to allow room for healing and restoration.
Nothing is forced, nothing pushy, nothing fabricated.
Providing the right conditions of water, sun and shade,
the plants that have withered and perished can come back to life.
        ……….   And even while the hot dry winds of August blow, 
blossoms are appearing.
Father, I praise You for the life that comes after a dormant season.  Amen “

In essence it is to me a description of the way the Lord works.
He offers soft things like dew and shade…
Nothing is forced, nothing pushy, nothing fabricated….
…. The plants that have withered and perished can come back to life.

Such a gentle God, a characteristic we do not often ascribe to Him, yet He is gentleness itself.    Gentleness, when delivered, brings with it such grace, relief and freedom to the person to be themselves and feel acknowledged, accepted and loved.

So what soft things talk to me ?   My ‘beeg’ blue soft cushion on which I prop up when I read, or when I feel to rest my sleepy head.   The nearness of my cosy cat.

Ice cream in cone

Soft serve ice-cream !
And for soft cool breezes on a humid and hot summer day.
But most of all the soft kind words of people by, through and to people,  –  are a few that come to mind.

What are the  ‘soft things’  that imperceptibly move you ?
Give it some thought, write them down, even create a poem ? –  and perhaps discover the gentleness in you.

 

 

Re-bloom

 

beauty bouganvilla

A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

 

hedge bouganvilla

A sunbeam-lit  Bougainvillea hedge

 

bouganvilla

Keep memory alive in a pot of beauty.

It was last year that I wrote on Beautiful Bougainvillea, so at the risk of being repetitive I am posting these pictures of the beauty that surrounds me,  to share it with you. The motivational gurus say if you want to be smart surround yourself with smart people.  I reckon if you want to be beautiful surround yourself with beauty.   And where can one find beauty at its best but in a garden.

I just could not helped being amazed at the lovely tangerine/pink Bougainvillea that I woke up to one morning, and met its beauty in a moment.   I mean it had been there all along, growing quietly and unnoticed until one morning it just said ” hello there ,  it’s re-bloom time again!”   And re-bloom it has, together with the other Bougainville’s in my garden.

It was John Keats who wrote in his poem Endymion ” a thing of beauty is a joy forever. Its beauty increases.”     I don’t think that we can be in a garden and fully appreciate the loveliness of nature in all its forms.   Amazingly God first created a garden and then man, to care and maintain it.   What a setting He created for man, and for the story of man, to unfold itself from – a garden!   Not the cosmos, not a distant star or a shallow pool of chemical soup  – no, a garden !

One of the lessons I like to take from the garden is the grace of the re-bloom.  Just when you think you have ‘arrived’ reached the top of the pile with nowhere else to go , or sunk so low that you cannot breathe with the waters of despair wallowing around you, or all is so futile and irrelevant – and begin to think what really matters in life?,  or even when all seems done and dusted, there is then the time of the re-bloom.   Re-bloom – it’s a thread woven into the life of the Garden.   And into the garden of  Life it is called the second chance, or the grace of God.   It is a thing woven in and throughout the fabric of life – our lives and the principles in nature.   I have been heard to whisper (even if only in my own mind)  – it’s never over till it’s over.

And that is perhaps why I relate so strongly to the Bougainvillea, apart from its beauty and the sheer joy it gives in its abundant profusion of colourful little petals that have the capacity to mass itself in awesome displays, for those along the highway of life.
And if you pass by that way often, you will encounter their re-bloom, and then remember for yourself – the grace of God, the God of the second chance.

shine throu bogan

Bougainvillea a thing of beauty indeed.