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Among the wildflowers

by davesandel on May 1st, 2021

Saturday, May 1, 2021            (today’s lectionary)

Among the wildflowers

Almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers could really gather the crowds, and then mesmerize them with his sometimes raucous but often sweet soul music. His smile was infectious. He loved people, and the people loved him. Far too young at age 56, he died.

I have made you a light to the Gentiles, that you may be an instrument of salvation to the ends of the earth.

What he left behind includes a mural at 1st and W. Annie Streets in Austin, painted by friends since his death in 2017. The words are so simple … “You belong among the wildflowers.” Maybe you’ve heard the song here, or there.

It was new to me when Marc and I found it on Thursday, across the street from the mural we came to see. Is it a eulogy, I wondered? I knew Tom Petty had died. Or did Tom know someone else who died, someone he ached for, someone he wanted very much to talk to now?

You belong among the wildflowers

You belong somewhere close to me

Far away from your trouble and worries

You belong somewhere you feel free

You belong somewhere you feel free

Maybe someone left him high and dry for another lover. That’s like a death too, right? A death to recover from, however slowly, then in due time to wish your former loved one well?

Run away, go find a lover

Run away, let your heart be your guide

You deserve the deepest of cover

You belong in that home by and by

Joy and sorrow hold hands and make a ring around me like a circle around the sun. Heartbreak singes my soul but then its warmth begins to draw me in, even comfort me. What? Comfort? Well, I know that I’m alive when I hurt that much. A deeper part in me shows itself, and I’m sure that I am real for once.

See what our Franciscan friar-teacher Richard Rohr posted the other day:

God puts us in a world of passing things where everything changes and nothing remains the same. Nothing will last, but while we breathe it in, we can enjoy it, and know that it is another moment of God, another moment of life. People who take this moment seriously, this always-true moment, this always-love moment, they take every moment seriously, and they are the people ready for heaven.

Just a month ago the Texas state flower was blooming everywhere. Now those bluebonnets are gone to summer seed, alive only in the mural on the wall. We can wait another year. Or we can look for the flower of the moment, and roll around in it.

Believe me, Jesus says, that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. The Father who dwells in me is doing his work.

Jesus inhabited a wide full space between passivity and super-ego-soaked energy. His words and actions always found their mark. He seems never to have over-reached. He slept when he slept, and then he prayed when he prayed, preached when he preached, and healed when he healed.

You belong among the wildflowers

You belong in a boat out at sea

Sail away, kill off the hours

You belong somewhere you feel free

Miles and Jasper are kind of new at this game, but they play it better than I do. They play when they play, they eat when they eat, and they sleep when they sleep. They love to wrestle and make up stories, and they do those things well because that’s all they are doing at the time.

I suppose their freedom won’t last long. Human children have so much thinking to do and so much learning to accomplish.  Or so we seem to say.

They shook the dust off their feet in protest and went to Iconium, and those disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.

I think our children would be better off if they could follow Peter Pan. If they could follow the disciples to Iconium. If they could follow Jesus.

Us too? Should we follow the children, as they follow Jesus? Of course.

(Acts 13, Psalm 98, John 8, John 14)


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