Not very common in the U.K. because it’s a long way from home. Fascinating small fruits in titanium blue set in a “star” of fuchsia-pink are produced from small white flowers. It even has an exotic name- the “Harlequin Glorybower.” It comes originally from China, but is quite hardy in British weather.
A good friend gave me a small bush which thrived in our Devon garden (but sadly had to be left behind when we moved away). It could be quite large by now!
Its distinctive nature makes it a conversation piece among gardeners.
It reminds me that the “Followers of the Way” (one of the earliest descriptions of believers in Jesus Christ) are- or should be- quite distinctive in society. We are a long way from home, we are pilgrims on the journey of eternity which will result in the glorious fulfilment of Jesus’ promise: there is a Home where we shall live in the Living Presence of God. John 14:1-3 (NLT2) “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.”
We may, at times, feel very out of place. Being distinctive MEANS standing out from the mass. It can be uncomfortable, and history shows being distinctive can be dangerous. It may be that our way of living and behaving will mean we become conversation pieces as people try to work out why we are the way we are.
Being here means we embody the Presence of Christ, we reflect the values of the Kingdom, and we march to the beat of a different drum.
Rejoice in your difference! Be a light in the dark, be a friend to the friendless. Be an example of Love, the love that brought Jesus to His incarnation and to His Cross. Be a follower on the Way of Christ even if it seems a long way from home. As Jesus said, “I will be with you ALWAYS.”
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