Baby blue, soft pink, or delicate white, these small, flat, five-petal flowers surrounded by a yellow center are called myosotis which means “mouse ears.” Forget-me-nots fade in the presence of showy Valentine roses. They possess no intoxicating fragrance like the star-gazer lily. And they prefer riverbanks and streams to the glory of gardens or bouquets.
What forget-me-nots lack in bravado they flourish in meaning. German legend holds that while God named the flowers, this unassuming plant cried out, “Forget-me-not, O Lord.” God replied, “Then that shall be your name.” Religious tradition says that the Lord Jesus created them to remind the world of His mother’s blue eyes. Medieval folklore conjures up a knight in shining armor who offered the posy to his lady. As a declaration of her love and faithfulness, she wore them in remembrance of him.
Do you know any forget-me-nots?
- Perhaps it is your painfully shy relative.
- Maybe it is a missionary friend, far beyond the comforts of home.
- It could be your neighbor who slips in and out without being noticed.
- What about the widow in the women’s ministry?
I’d like to extol the virtues of one such flower in my life. Forgive me, humble forget-me-not, for gathering you into the limelight for just a moment. It’s time that you received your due. I’d like to remind others of your gentle grace and unfailing faith.
His name is Mark Macallister. He recently left earth to enter into the presence of his Heavenly Father. Mark arrived in my life as my husband’s best friend. Every pastor’s wife prays for a Jonathan to watch his back. When we moved to Albuquerque nearly thirty years ago, Mark appeared with a servant’s heart, a carpenter’s hammer, and a quick wit. He volunteered for the lowliest occupations when no one else stepped up to the need. Without fanfare, he served as child care director, acted as Skip’s secretary and assistant, helped build classroom walls and office cubicles, reached out to the homeless, developed our missions department, and inaugurated Calvary’s first School of Ministry.
However, Mark’s heart far outshone his handiwork. Like the flower, he was humble in the truest sense of the word. Rather than the latest fashion trends, blue jeans and tennis shoes suited him. His nature called for the faraway places and forgotten people. Mark received an undeniable call to countries closed to the gospel. He gathered teams to smuggle Bibles. He raised up short-term missionaries to encourage the underground church. He developed a network of native believers whose lives would be threatened by the government if exposed. Mark loved these people with such fervency that he traveled to the mall the while bearing physical pain and personal peril. Mark knew people in hidden places that no one else knew, except our heavenly Father.
Mark taught me the value of intercession. Mark reminded me to value people rather than possessions. Mark demonstrated to me that man must not touch God’s glory. Mark showed me what a soldier for God looks like. Mark’s strength in weakness caused me to lean heavily upon the Lord in my trials. He’ll always be one of my heroes in the faith. These qualities live on in my heart.
Happily, Mark knew that he was not forgotten. I joined his private prayer chain to intercede for wisdom and wellness. We spent time on the phone encouraging one another. Others became aware of his plight as I shared his story. His unshakable wife Jody and I spoke often of Mark. I will carry a pocket full of posies at the funeral of this knight now in shining armor.
What about you? Is there a forget-me-not in your life? Have you neglected them? Don’t wait until its too late to encourage and engulf them in your love. Perhaps they long for a watering season. “Good news from far away is like cold water to the thirsty” (Prov. 25:25, NLT).