Wednesday, April 28, 2010
So far April is dry but whether we have April showers or not, May is coming and with it, flowers.
I am particularly fond of daisies. There is just something about the simplicity and the cheerful little "countenance" of a daisy. I'm not drawn to them because of scent, that's for sure, because if they actually have one, it's not pleasant.
I'm also drawn to lilacs for completely different reasons. The season for lilacs is short and imitation lilac scent makes me queasy. But standing between purple festooned lilac bushes and breathing in that unmistakable scent is one of the great pleasures in life.
Why did God take the time to give us an abundance of flowers? I suppose we could say its for the bees and the birds. Sure. But why would He make the fragrant lilac that lasts three weeks, the peony, the poppy and the hyacinth, all vibrantly colorful and vastly different?
I'm going to suggest that the flowers He created, in all their glory and difference, are for our pleasure. And His.
Each type of flower has a growing season, soil and sun preferences and a maintenance need that differs from others. And each of us has our own flower preferences. Roses are beautiful but come with thorns. Daisies are hardy, cheerful and scentless. Lilacs and peonies are here today and gone tomorrow and the scent of each can't quite be captured in a bottle. Some flowers grow shallow, some crave sun, some can grow without soil, some need shade.
A garden can be sculpted and neat or unruly and wild and both can be gorgeous. Flowers even have their own language. A gift of yellow roses means something entirely different from a bouquet of carnations or lilacs. And a gift of flowers from a special friend is not like receiving a token flower at a banquet.
Aren't we also very much like a garden? God's own garden, created for His glory and His purpose and His pleasure? And for the needs and pleasure of those around us? Some of us will be drawn to the human roses, others will be drawn to the wildflower garden. Those who come in contact with us, those whom we pray for, those who don't know Jesus, yet, are drawn or repelled by the scents and the sights and the garden that we are.
What type of flower are you? Functional? High-maintenance? Fragrant? Can we help cultivate our particular human flower? Can we offer our soil some help? Maybe do some self-pruning? Any dead-heads that you are aware of that might be hindering new growth? Could your soil use a little more time in the Word as preparation for some new seed or seedlings? Maybe we could try to stop striving to be roses if we are wildflowers and we can accept that wildflowers are beautiful and valuable just as they are.
And while you are pondering all of this, don't forget to stop and smell some flowers.