News, Connections and Photos from the life of the faith community at CAPC Oakland
Sunday in worship we talked about Flower Bombing, using this provocative and paradoxical graffiti art created by the artist collective known as Bansky. It was part of our contemplation the two encounters with Jesus that we read of in Luke 7:1-17. The invitation was for us to realize that while we encounter Jesus in both the stories of scriptures and our own lives, people around may encounter Jesus in us: the way we act, speak, curate relationships, rest and give. In our age of polarization, politicization and division (which started long before election day); we might just be invited in and through faith to be provocative, active paradoxes, launching not molotov cocktails, but bouquets of flowers, in order to sow disorientation in our damaged, despairing and dissatisfied world.
At the end of worship everyone present was invited to come forward, select some flowers (subversively chosen to reflect both the national colors of our country and the team colors of both teams in the Super Bowl), and to freely give them to someone during the day – anyone. On the street. In a restaurant. At a Super Bowl party. A neighbor. The intent was to simply give, to love generously, to provoke an encounter through unsolicited generosity. The act could be accompanied with any sort of word (preferably positive) ranging from “Have a nice day!” to a conversation about Luke 7:1-17.
Did you take the challenge?
What did you do with your flower(s)?
What type of encounter did your flower bomb provoke?
What did you get out of your flower bombing?
Below is a response from one of our church member who took the challenge. – Annette
Before the week gets away from me, I wanted to take the time to email you and let you know how impactful the flowers you charged us with on Sunday to distribute were to others.
As my mom and I were leaving church there was a single man sitting on the bench on the sidewalk eating a danish. Because he was sitting alone, I thought this may be an opportunity to brighten someone’s day with a flower, as you had hoped that we would do. I offered my flower to him. He was touched, and responded in a way I did not expect, “I probably shouldn’t.” Not knowing what he meant by this, and not wanting to push a flower on him, I wished him a good day and my mom and I kept walking. An interesting response; but hopefully he felt special for a moment.
Anyway, onward in our day we stopped at the Mountain View Cemetery to put silk flowers at our relatives grave sites. So my mom and I are walking around the crematory to our various relatives, and I had a bag of silk flowers we were pulling from to put at each marker (I had left the two carnations in the car while we were inside). We were walking to our final drop off when I overheard two men talking. They had found the marker for a dear aunt who apparently had been very special to them. One man said to the other, “we should have brought flowers”. As my mom and I were finishing up, my thoughts were pondering whether to give those two men some of our silk flowers. Because of your sermon earlier that day, and the nice thought you had for us to distribute flowers, my heart was open to hearing their wish. I mentioned to my mom that I wanted to give the fellows some flowers to put on their relative’s grave site. She thought that was a good idea. And so it went. They were very appreciative, and put the flowers on the marker, and thanked us several times.
We don’t know how such small acts of kindness are received by others. Had you not had the bushel of carnations and encouraged us to spread kindness, I may not have thought of sharing our silk flowers
I just wanted you to know that your words made a difference to at least two mens’ lives, and possibly a third. The two carnations ended up going to my dad and Ross, so that makes five mens’ lives that were touched. Just think…of the 45 or so people who were in church, if they touched at least one person, think of how many lives were potentially improved that day because of a small token as a flower.
Just a little bit of feedback for you. 🙂