Chuck Terrill: Remember the onions

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

We just harvested our garden onions. There is nothing better than a thin slice of fresh onion on a grilled hamburger. They have added flavor to many meals. Yet, the onion receives little praise. I’ve never read a poem or heard a song about an onion. I’ve never seen a bride carry a bouquet of green onions down the aisle. I would say that onions are under appreciated. Onions are the unsung heroes of the vegetable world! 

Daisies and Daffodils have their poems and songs. Maybe they need them because they are fragile. Poets may sense a dainty flower’s need to be lauded and applauded. But, apparently, not the onion, because it is strong.   

It may be the same with the many onions who serve in our churches. They are the heavy hitters, strong in faith, and strong in service, but often under-appreciated. For years they have added flavor and piquancy to our faith life. Sometimes we take them so for granted that we forget all they are doing in the service of the Lord.

Onions are strong, but their service is not without cost. Onions are designed in layers, and those layers get pulled off. Onions are constantly giving themselves away, a little at a time. Yet, they remain strong. They continue to bless and enhance. And they continue to stay strong. Please, don’t forget the tears. There can be much weeping. But onions keep giving and giving.

Because they are strong.  

There are some we praise because we know they need it to keep them going. We ought to encourage and praise the violets and roses in our churches. We want them to grow strong. Resurrection power will transform them into onions.

There are others who seldom receive recognition because they are so strong. We expect strong things of them. They are in the background, quietly giving themselves fully to the work of the Lord. 

If you want to bless a hardworking, under-appreciated servant of God, find a pretty, appropriately sized gift box. Wrap a large onion in tissue paper and place it in the box. Clip this little essay, fold it, and place it on top of the onion. Tie a red bow around the box and hand deliver it.   

They may be shocked to unwrap an onion! But when they read the essay, they will understand your esteem for them. An onion just might do what a bouquet of lilies could never do.

“But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you…” (1 Thessalonians 5:12).

Chuck Terrill, who has doctorates from Master Theological Seminary and Trinity Seminary, is the senior minister at First Christian Church in Cassville. He may be reached at 417-847-2460.