Camellias, crystal, Walmart receipts and tiny surprises of goodness

Published 11:54 am Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

One of my camellia bushes is busting out all over in glory. When I say she is busting out, she is going full throttle and is determined to be noticed. Even the way her blooms fall and leave her with a petticoat is an amazing view. She is coming to life and she is telling an awesome story. I am mesmerized by her telling of it and hang on every word she whispers. I am so interested in hearing her speak, I bring her blooms in and put them around my house to hear more. I collect vases of all sizes, colors and shapes. I especially like the little ones because they are a tiny surprise which holds a goodness no one expected. I really, really like tiny surprises of goodness. And, in all honesty, I would like to think of myself as being a tiny surprise of goodness. So, you might can tell, the camellia really resonates with me because the story she tells, just in being herself, is one of offering goodness. On every occasion, I hope to learn more of bringing goodness. I fully admit my need for such lessons.

So, at my house, there are camellias on near about every surface which will hold a vase. Some are buds, some are full blooms, some are simply the leaves surrounding her blooms. When camellia is having her say in my home, I tend to want to amplify her song, so all my home-making skills begin to come alive. All those surfaces holding vases soon were shined to rid the dust and cat hair. The floors were swept, vacuumed and mopped. The linens were freshened. The lamps started burning a soft glow to highlight it all. The candles came out to loan their tender light to the story. I happened upon a great occasion for another to see not only my camellias but all the goodness being breathed into my home. It was but a simple dinner to celebrate tasks completed, but it was also an opportunity to treat a rather simple meal as if it had a story of a tiny goodness to tell.

Out came the good china, the linens, the silver, the crystal, and the accessories usually reserved for occasions much larger than taco night. Instead of eating at the kitchen counter, I opened the dining room and lit up her chandelier and sconces. I wish I could claim this as my typical Thursday night, but alas, no, I usually eat dinner on my sofa with whatever plate is on top of the stack, along with a tea refill in the Yeti I have been using all day. However, on this Thursday night, motivated by my camellias’ story and having my own desire to see if I could tell the same story, my friend and I celebrated a taco on good china. Some Thursdays deserve to be a surprising tiny bit of goodness. And so, it was. Extra work? Absolutely. Taking the risk my dinner company think I am over the top? Maybe. Indulging in a want instead of keeping it to a need? All day. Knowing it won’t last forever and to keep it up will demand finding a little extra energy? Yep. But regret investing in a surprising tiny goodness? Never.

Doesn’t it go this way in anything good? At times there is going to be natural resistance to fully immerse into giving away things trusted to us. There is almost always an easier, softer way. There is an option which doesn’t require as much out of us for the time being. Short term, however, is short term. Enduring are the things we invest our passions into. And passions are expensive. And they are life giving. And they are good. I used to work at the courthouse. I have a lawyer friend whose car I would often see. At every opportunity, I would scribble a little love note and put it on his windshield. Being a writer, it is rather rich I never have paper or pen at the ready. The easier and softer thing for me would be to offer up a warm thought or prayer and make my way through the day. But there is always a scrap piece of paper and there is always a tube of lipstick which can draw out “I love U.” Does that tiny goodness matter? He most often would send me a text later in the day saying, “I love you, too.” So that tells me it mattered to him. But mostly, it mattered to me. Because I need to know I am growing in my ability to bring surprising tiny goodness into the day. The potential for bringing good is a great gift to be trusted with. Silly perhaps, but there is realized purpose in giving away what was trusted to you to give away. It took a little bit of time to write out I love you on a Walmart receipt in lipstick. It takes a lot of trust my friend will find it endearing rather than be angry he is now covered in lipstick smudges. Despite those facts, I got to walk around all day long knowing if I did nothing else, I brought goodness–a surprising, tiny bit of goodness.

Is bringing goodness your purpose? Oh, how we need you to be successful in your purpose. We appreciate it isn’t always the easiest and softest way. However, you somehow make it happen. Thank you for giving away what was trusted to you to give away. You are what we need most. You are a tiny, surprising goodness where we don’t expect it. Go tell your story. We need to hear it. We are, in fact, mesmerized by your telling of it and hang on every word you whisper.