Day Ten: Flowers

I am allergic to flowers. Most of them. The flowers with abundant fragrance are the ones which trouble me most. Lilies, gardenias, hyacinths. It is tradition to have lilies covering the sanctuary on Easter Sunday as a sign of new life and resurrection. This is a problem for a pastor who is asthmatic and allergic to lilies.

On our first Easter after planting the church, we replaced the lilies with daffodils and tulips. They are less fragrant, but still add a boost of color and life. However, there were a few people who were upset that lilies had been replaced by tulips. There had always been lilies. Every church has lilies.

It get it. Change is hard. People move our cheese and we lose our rhythm of routine. I was attending a church once and we elected a new pastor. He made one small change each week for five weeks. I remember holding my breath because I knew what was coming. People were getting restless. Fortunately, he was experienced and knew when to take a break before introducing more changes.

Our brains get overloaded when big changes happen in small windows of time. We call them crises. Change causes our brains to create new neuropathways. It is one reason we are so tired during a crisis. Our brain is re-wiring itself to accommodate the newness of it all.

It will be one year next week. One year since we went into lock down for “14 days to flatten the curve”. Are you making plans to celebrate this momentous occasion? It has been a long 14 days!

There has been a lot of change. I think I will buy the church flowers to celebrate. What type of flowers do you give for a pandemic? Are there break-up flowers? I want to break-up with this pandemic so my flower arrangement needs to communicate “you’re not welcome here anymore”. Black roses maybe?

During this Lenten season, I am contemplating which changes I want to keep. Some of them have made my life and ministry better and easier. I am slowly making a list and praying through each one.

What about you? Are there changes you want to keep? What is the best new practice you have embraced in the last year? In the meantime, buy yourself flowers to celebrate making it through an unprecedented year of change.

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