When I'm in need of inspiration I often head to the library.
If I need a special dose of joy, I browse through the children's section.
During a recent trip to my local library, I found Sidewalk Flowers authored by Jon Arno Lawson and illustrated by Sydney Smith; a wordless and poetic picture book of sweet, common grace.
In Sidewalk Flowers we follow a young child and a distracted father on a walk through the city.
Through the child's point of view we see beauty poking through the cracks of sterile concrete; yellow dandelions and other tenacious flowers that we dismiss as weeds.
Seemingly unnoticed by her father, as the two walk, the young girl gathers the flowers along their path and makes a tender bouquet of her treasures.
Once her bouquet is full, she begins to distribute the joy that she has found. Her actions of grace ripple out and brighten the world for others.
A few are given as a memorial to a dead bird lying on the sidewalk.
A man sleeping on a park bench gets a couple, as does a dog on a leash who stands alone, ignored by its owner. The child continues to spread joy when she gets home where her mother and siblings benefit from her gifts.
Interestingly, the author of Sidewalk Flowers is a poet who has written this tale without a word; yet, there is poetry on every page. I love that he didn't let his lack of illustration skills stop him. In partnership with an artist, he gently reminded us that we all have the ability to color our world with kindness.
If you need a lttle light in your day, take two minutes and watch the book trailer for Sidewalk Flowers.
Maybe you will see the forgotten flowers like I did as a child, bright yellow and worthy material for a necklace or a dandelion crown.