May 9, 2011The group is small. Mostly they are early middle aged men living with their house mother in a group home. Elsie brings them to church when she can. They sing songs in the Joy Class and hear the stories of the Bible and work in the flower beds around the church. One of the class leaders is Mr. Gardener (at least that's what I call him). He has green fingers and brings bulbs and cuttings for the men to share in planting, then delighting as they watch the plants grow and bloom. Yesterday they gave me a special gift. It is a Burning Bush that was rooted from a cutting of the mother plant at the church. It is about two years old, green and healthy. I sat in the room and Mr. Gardener read from Exodus the story of Moses and the burning bush. Rapt attention and some clapping added excitement to the hearing of the story of Moses standing on holy ground in the presence of the great I AM. The men told about their week. Bill, to my left, talked about his job. He works on the flower truck. His job is to sort the flowers for distribution to florists around the area. He spends all day touching, noticing every detail of every flower, smelling all the different fragrances, and placing them in the buckets for the flower shops. Any flowers that are not quite perfect for commercial use, he brings back home. Elsie says they have big bouquets of fresh cut flowers every week that Bill works. Sometimes I forget that joy lives in the simplest of acts, in the authenticity of being true to oneself, in living the present moment as the gift it is. Joy is a gift of the Spirit of God that lives in the hearts who open themselves without guile and ego to the goodness of the most ordinary things. This morning I thank God for the gift of a burning bush that took me to holy ground and the presence of I AM. I am always learning something again for the first time. Today it was joy! Thank you, God.