something’s missing . . . I know it every time I walk past my favorite garden with the “Be Kind” flag flowing among the flowers, proclaiming the message of the garden for all to see. I take this message to heart. It is my daily reminder to do just that, to “be kind.” But still, something is missing. I sense it, I feel it, I know it to be true – every time I pass by.
The flowers are as pretty as in seasons past, the stepping stones are perfectly in place, making a pathway through the flowers, the garden lights are in place along the path and other yard art is in place as well. The garden appears the picture of perfection.
But I know better. I know that something is missing. This picture of perfection is not complete. And I know why. The plates are missing! I know what you are thinking right about now, dear readers. “Why would there be plates in a garden?” “What would be their purpose?”
Well, let me tell you. These aren’t just any ordinary plates. Oh, no – they are brightly colored, decorative plates of various sizes and colors and patterns that hang against the side of the house that is next to the garden. These plates are as colorful as the flowers they watch over from their protective position overlooking the garden. They are actually as much a part of the garden as the flowers are in my mind. And this season they are missing.
Now the side of the house seems empty, blank and barren as I walk by each day. I had not realized I looked forward to the reappearance of the plates each spring, as much as I do the flowers. I did not miss the plates until they were not there any more. (of course) But now I realize the important place the plates hold as a part of “the Be Kind garden”. (not very kind to exclude the plates, I’m thinking)
This got me to thinking about the body of Christ to which we belong. If any of us goes missing, the whole body suffers. Every person is important to God, no matter our function or role as a part of the whole. The body needs all of its members or parts.
“The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. . . . God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. . . . If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” (1 Corinthians 12:12, 18-20 & 26)
And so I can be a part of something bigger than myself. I can belong to the body of Christ here on earth. When someone is missing from the body, I know it and I feel their absence. They leave a space, an empty space. A space as empty as the space above the garden where the colorful plates used to hang.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
I miss those plates. Bring back the plates please!
sincerely, Grace Day