I am not be highly religious, I may go to hell, I may be part Wicca but I do believe in God. Thankfully, my relationship with MY God has changed and blossomed into place beyond my comprehension or ability to articulate.
By the time I was eleven years old, I had spent four long years going to church every weekday at my private school. I listened to the pastor, I sang the songs, I wrote poems about Jesus and I do believe this was a wonderful foundation in which to be exposed as severe neglect was presnt in my home.
But free will exists and I wanted the California State Flower so bad: The Golden Poppy. I struggled every day trying not to pick one but they were so beautiful even though it was against the law to take one for yourself.
My obsession with this flower grew as I walked home on Gainsborough Road -on my way to and from school. It was a long walk and I distracted myself avoiding the cracks on the pavement or puposely landing on only the sidewalk cracks while singing and making up stories in my head: mainly more distraction techniques.
But the day came. I could take it no longer. I wanted that flower! Waiting until no cars were around and no people, I went for it. I picked the Golden Poppy. And then fear set in. I ran and ran and ran as fast as I could in hopes that the police or the FBI would not catch me. I just needed to make it home and then I could hide this great sin.
Unfornutaley, I ran out of breath right as I turned off Gainsborough and an overwhelming revelation overcame me. No matter what I do or say, or not say, wherever I go, I would not be able to hide from God.
“God knows.” I said to myself. “God knows you picked the Golden Poppy you stupid idiot and God is mad at you.” And fear was replaced by guilt because I suddenly started to remember temptations that I could not withstand: stealing at the grocery store, not wearing underwear under my dress one day at school, running to the Oak’s Mall a thousand times when I was far too young to go alone and not being honest with my parents about these defects of character. Basically, I felt doomed.
For many years I held onto that guilt like a coat of armor. I did not know how to undo what I had done. I had stopped going to church at that point and I just had to live with myself day after day.
But you know what? My concept of the Lord was off-target for a long time. I had a mean and angry God who condemned me in all ways, who would never forgive my ugyl- flower-picking sin. However, God is all-loving and has great mercy for anyone who seeks to do better. It took many more years of life for this truth to be revealed to me.It happened just when I stopped looking. It doesn’t matter though. I learned it and I believe it in my heart.
So repent if you will, have mercy for each other, for yourself and thank God for all the love he pours down unconditionally upon this earth. I am grateful today. I am no longer confused and I have been given direction and many miracles from my loving God.
And I no longer pick poppies, I admire them from afar.