I went for a walk, last night, and I did what I had been promising myself I would do ever since spring arrived - I picked some of the daisies that were growing by the side of the road. They were buggy and imperfect - like life, and I thanked God for them.
I thought about the two tractors that had passed me earlier and the two men driving them. I wondered if they had noticed the flowers that line the ditches of this country road. With the daisies clutched in my sweaty fist (along with five sprigs of timothy and one lone indian paintbrush) I headed for home and it was just a chance moment that made me look up - into the setting sun ensconced in cloud - and it was sending beams of light down to earth. That glorious evening light was shining down on everyone. Maybe they didn't even know it.
And as I looked at it, two words danced in my head.
Just yesterday: A conversation about how some people don't believe that God shows mercy and grace to unbelievers and one man's bold declaration that, without God's restraining hand, Hitler could have been worse.
Just this morning: This quote written about Brother Lawrence (just a cook in a monastery many, many years ago) - "As for the miseries and sins he heard of daily in the world, he was so far from wondering at them, that, on the contrary, he was surprised that there were not more, considering the malice sinners were capable of; that for his part he prayed for them; but knowing that God could remedy the mischiefs they did when He pleased, he gave himself no farther trouble."
(quote from "The Practice of the Presence of God")
Sometimes His hand restrains. Sometimes it gives.
Sometimes we see it and thank Him. Sometimes we totally miss it.
Sometimes it is big like a miraculous salvation from physical death. Sometimes it is beautiful like a well-played symphony. Sometimes it is happy like finding a five dollar bill in the pocket of an old pair of jeans. And sometimes it's a little homely, like a cluster of buggy daisies beside a country road.
But, it is always lavish, and undeserved, and humbling.
So, I listened to David Myles singing about his love for his child, as I walked home. And I don't know whether he's a Christian or not. At the moment, it wasn't my concern. I thanked God for a father's love, a pretty tune, and common grace.