Cut flowers: a reflection

Cut flowers: a reflection

Written on 06/24/2020
Sarah Jackson

Written by Sarah Jackson

“But he answered them, ‘You give them something to eat.’ … Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and he divided the two fish among them all” (Mark 6:35-44).

Entering into prayer, in my mind’s eye I watch the beauty of earnest people helping each other during this pandemic. I see their compassion. Their attitude to sacrificially love their neighbours originated from Jesus Christ.

A couple of years ago, I heard Os Guinness describe our generation’s prevailing value system as “cut flowers.”

We enjoy the pillars of Judeo-Christian values, but we have cut off their roots by denying God is the source. Without the source, the values will weaken and die, as cut flowers do. He talks more about this in his book Impossible People (Intervarsity, 2016).

The people who trust in these values to save them will find them lacking in the end—indeed, these people don’t even think they need saving. I held this humanistic worldview myself until my late twenties, and it is still the belief system of my dearest friends.

As I pray, tears come, and I’m earnest for blind eyes to see.

I become aware that God wants to renew me by stirring up two things: my earnest concern for them and my faith in Him.

I’m reminded of the miraculous feeding of the five thousand. Before He did the miracle, Jesus changed the posture of the disciples by telling them to feed the crowd. First, He got them thinking about doing it themselves (even if they didn’t have a solution, they had to take some ownership of the problem), then He did the miracle. The disciples had five loaves, two fish—and Jesus—to feed the crowd.

Today, the crowds trusting in cut flowers need a miracle of the Holy Spirit. They aren’t asking for the miracle.

But as we are renewed, we are asking, with earnest concern and with faith. We Christ-followers in this generation must ask. This will bring glory to our Father (John 15:8).