Oh, my God, on a gorgeous May morning like this, please help students of all ages who don’t want to study. Lord, help us teachers, who want to play hooky even more. And OMG, please grant us another sunny day soon, when school’s out, when we can all go outside and play.
Oh, my God, You know I have a talent for getting lost in airports, parking lots, hotels, and breakfast areas. (Where did they hide the coffee? Oh. The same place as yesterday.) OMG, I’m so thankful You always know where I am, even if I don’t.
Seeing these not-so-shy visitors arrive in my yard again, I had to look back on a blog I wrote in tribute to my uninvited but secretly welcome guests.
I first noticed these flowers as a preschooler. While dandelions flaunted fuzzy beauty like Hollywood starlets, violet faces peered at me shyly through leafy green hands. Mom said I could pick them! — unless they grew in other people’s yards.
One day my sister and I gathered a legal but meager violet bouquet in our grandparents’ backyard — until we wandered toward the neighbors’ weathered house. It resembled a log cabin. Did Abraham Lincoln live there? Even that possibility paled beside the ocean of violets before us. God liked purple, too!
The serious business of picking them all consumed us. I knew we should ask permission, but loudly legitimized our actions by announcing we were gathering special flowers for Mommy and Grandma. When we brought them wilted, wadded bouquets, Mom confirmed my niggling conscience’s pointing finger. We had crossed moral boundaries. The good news: too late to do anything about it. I loved it when sin worked out that way.
Not long afterward, Grandma died, and I never visited the magic Sea of Violets again. But as I graduated from picking flowers to picking guys, I never forgot them.
The spring break before high school graduation, I took an all-day walk around my hometown. Like any respectable teen, I’d hated it for years. Now, deep inside, I knew I was leaving Columbus, Indiana, forever. One shabby bungalow’s yard stopped me in my tracks. Thousands and thousands of purple violets. Now 18 and an official grown-up, I didn’t dive in. But I stood, mesmerized, for sometime.
I hung that violet picture on my mind’s walls. When my then-boyfriend, now-husband asked about a prom corsage for my lavender dress, I answered, “Violets.” I loved them — and didn’t want him to feel obliged to give me an orchid, the obvious, expensive answer.
Unbeknownst to me, his mother would worry because she could not find a violet corsage.
“Haven’t used violets in 40 years!” one florist said. “What kind of nut is your son dating, anyway?”
Finally, she told Steve his girlfriend’s purple passion would have to take a different direction. How about white carnations? Pink roses?
Oh. I hadn’t thought of that.
My date, who had remained silent during this woman debate, decided on a white orchid.
The violet vision must have remained with my future mother-in-law, though. After a church banquet, she instructed Steve to give me its centerpiece, a huge bunch of violets. Did she like me? I hoped so. Whether she knew it or not, she had become part of my violet history.
Which continues to this day. My purple passion still guides my walks. If I find violets in your yard, I just might pick them without asking permission.
No TGIF for Him
O my God, we all would like to vote some weeks off the calendar. On Monday morning, we’re already thinking weekend and TGIF. More than 2,000 years ago, though, there was no TGIF for Jesus. But OMG, thank You for TGIS!
O my God, You made crocuses so brave and bright — though some say they’re not too bright, thumbing little purple and yellow noses at frozen spring. But OMG, while You’re also into smarts, Your crocuses demonstrate that faith can’t be overrated!
O my God, believe it or not, some accuse You of having no sense of humor.
Oh, my God, thank You that, um, several decades ago, You sent me my sister. Years later, and miles apart, I’m still thankful for her. But she will always be three years younger than I. OMG, is that fair?
OMG, thank You that I’m feeling better. However, if You’d unleashed this strain of flu on the Egyptians back in Moses’ time, maybe You wouldn’t have had to send the other ten plagues?
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and Daylight Saving Time,” said NO Bible. Ever. OMG, perhaps those who make such laws should leave the creating to You!