Not All Flowers Are Red…That’s Intentional

Flowers Are Red by Harry Chapin

The little boy went first day of school
He got some crayons and he started to draw
He put colors all over the paper
For colors was what he saw

And the teacher said, “What you doin’ young man?”
“I’m paintin’ flowers” he said
She said, “It’s not the time for art young man
And anyway flowers are green and red”

“There’s a time for everything young man
And a way it should be done
You’ve got to show concern for everyone else
For you’re not the only one”

And she said, “Flowers are red young man
And green leaves are green
There’s no need to see flowers any other way
Than the way they always have been seen”

But the little boy said
“There are so many colors in the rainbow
So many colors in the morning sun
So many colors in the flower and I see every one”

Well the teacher said, “You’re sassy
There’s ways that things should be
And you’ll paint flowers the way they are
So repeat after me”

And she said, “Flowers are red, young man
And green leaves are green
There’s no need to see flowers any other way
Than the way they always have been seen”

But the little boy said
“There are so many colors in the rainbow
So many colors in the morning sun
So many colors in the flower and I see every one”

The teacher put him in a corner
She said, “It’s for your own good
And you won’t come out ’til you get it right
And are responding like you should”

Well finally he got lonely
Frightened thoughts filled his head
And he went up to the teacher
And this is what he said

And he said
“Flowers are red, and green leaves are green
There’s no need to see flowers any other way
Than the way they always have been seen”

Time went by like it always does
And they moved to another town
And the little boy went to another school
And this is what he found

The teacher there was smilin’
She said, “Painting should be fun
And there are so many colors in a flower
So let’s use every one”

But that little boy painted flowers
In neat rows of green and red
And when the teacher asked him why
This is what he said

And he said
“Flowers are red, and green leaves are green
There’s no need to see flowers any other way
Than the way they always have been seen”

The longer I live, the more I see that fewer and fewer things are black and white, and that when I am truly focused on, and acting out of love, whatever the situation may be, color, shape or form have very little bearing at all.

Imagine what it might be like to be in a world, where encouragement toward discovering and using one’s God-given gifts was the norm, and where love was the driving force of each word and each action. If society let God be God…If religion, instead of being used at times and/or seen by some as a tool for “fixing” each other, so we can all be the “same,” focused more heavily on love and relationship…relationship with God and with each other. What might it be like, if the need to be “right” were dismissed?

Somehow, I cannot help but think and feel that if God wanted everyone to be, to think, and to feel the exact same, God would have made that happen. God didn’t though. However, God did inscribe the same law, the law of love, on all of our hearts. God also inspired Scripture that is full of examples of love, mercy, and compassion across all kinds of situations and “would be” societal barriers.

While it may seem hard to live in and out of love, day in and day out, it is not impossible. All we have to do is try…and keep on trying. God will make it happen…if we ask (and keep on asking), and then let go and let God be in charge.

“The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love.” ― St. Teresa of Ávila

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