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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Flowers Instead of Swasticas

A few years ago when my oldest son had just started college, he got a job working for one of our local gift stores. One evening, after working his shift, he walked out to the parking lot only to discover that someone had painted huge swasticas all over his car.
Ian drove home, pretty upset, not only for the damage, but that such a hate message would be advertised everywhere he drove until he got it fixed.
He didn't have a lot of money;  a full paint job can be expensive.
What to do?
I suggested that we decorate the car with a very different message, something to kind of thumb our noses at the perpetrators of the vandalism.
We went down to our local hardware store and bought various bright colors of paint.
My daughter invited one of her friends over to the house and together with our family we had a paint party.
The result?
Unfortunately I don't have a photo of the car. I could kick myself for not taking pictures.
But if you're old enough to remember the tv show, The Partidge Family, you've got an idea of how the car turned out.
Large, bright flowers, painted in reds, oranges, pinks and yellows adorned the car's hood, its sides and trunk.
If anyone ever tried to paint another swastica, that symbol would have been lost in the explosion of colors sported by the old Chrysler.
Ian's car effectively shouted down the Swastica message of hate by shouting louder with his flowery vehicle.
Similarly, when we as Christians are surrounded by messages proclaiming lies as truth, we need to shout our message of truth louder.
When we're told that we cannot be seen praying, we pray, nevertheless.
When we're told that our message of the gospel -- God's mercy to haters--is a message of hate, we need to keep proclaiming the gospel of God's love. . . in whatever way God has gifted us to do so.
When we're told that Jesus Christ is only one of many good and alternative ways to know God, we need to gently say, "that is not true."
When the media make us out to be intolerant and bigoted, we speak out and make ignorant people see how much Christians are in the forefront of nearly every act of worldwide charity.
Christians in America are not insulted by unbelievers so much because we say too much, but because we allow "swasticas" to remain on our sides without removing and advertising our own true message.

Don't be afraid to advertise "flowers" instead of "swasticas."

"Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Isreal; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you will surely die,' and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood."


  1. Amen Dena! We are to proclaim His word from the rooftops!

    And yes I do remember The Partridge Family. I'll bet your sons car looked great! That's what I call getting a lemon and making lemonade out of it :-)

    Take care Dena and have a nice day :-)


  2. Hi Dena -

    A very creative solution to an ugly problem!

    Too many Christians respond with silence to the barbs that come our way. Speaking the truth in love and backing it with our actions will go a long way to making the lies obvious.

    Susan :)

  3. Thanks, Ron. I've always loved the word picture of making lemonade from lemons: sour to sweet.

  4. Susan, I think we Christians have been trained to believe that we're being meek by not saying anything. Yes, there are times we should hold our tongues. But there's a time to speak out. I believe now is the time we particularly need to do just that!