Moving Forward With Vision

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

A few days ago, my husband and I visited Flamingo Gardens, the oldest botanical gardens and wildlife sanctuary in Florida. As we walked around, we were mesmerized by the gigantic Cluster Fig Tree. It is the largest tree in Florida’s Champion Tree Registry and measures 54 feet 1 inch in circumference, 102 feet in height with a crown span of 95 feet. My camera could not really capture how magnificent that tree is, but here is a glimpse:


I was so busy taking pictures of the Champion Tree that I nearly missing seeing the pale yellow orchid growing on a smaller tree next to it (photo at the top). And then I began to notice that there were orchids growing everywhere in the trees. In the tree below, two orchids were blooming:


I was ecstatic! One of the things I love is flowers. I took so many pictures that my neck was sore from looking up into the trees. What amazed me the most about our day trip was that this treasure, Flamingo Gardens, is practically in my backyard. I have driven by the entrance hundreds of times over the years. But I never truly saw it until I took the time to see.

Later that day, I was at His House Children’s Home. A group of us went to have dinner with the girls that we are mentoring. This time, the girls began to open up and share some of the things that are important to them. They began to let their personalities show. We had a lot of fun. But then as we were getting ready to leave I started thinking about the realities of growing up in Foster Care. I felt overwhelmed by the level of commitment we needed to move forward with our Big Idea. This scripture came to my mind:

“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” (Psalms 127:3 NLT)

As we drove home, I thought:

1) Flamingo Gardens and His House Children’s Home are both practically in my backyard. Both are filled with treasures. I never truly saw what was inside either one until I took the time to see.
2) Once I have seen something, I can never “un-see” it.
3) My vision has been expanded.

My question for myself: “How am I going to move forward with my expanded vision?

“Can I see another’s woe, and not be in sorrow too? Can I see another’s grief, and not seek for kind relief?” ~ William Blake

(Originally posted in May 2013)

About Linda Freeman

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Linda Pulley Freeman combines her specialized training in environmental and chemical engineering with her deep ministerial commitment as she serves mission fields at home and abroad.

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