Isaiah 53:2 “….He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. ” NIV
First off let me say that at this point there should have been a stunning photograph of my fall flower garden. My beautiful sunflowers, pansies, and some sort of really beautiful purple flower that I have never been able to identify. When I left this morning, I gave youngest daughter two things to do. (insert here…..I talked, she heard blah blah blah) Clean your room and take pictures for my blog. And here we are. No pictures and a nuclear explosion at her end of the house. You know the drill……..
As I sat in my garden this morning, listening to the world wake up, quieting my mind so that I could talk to God, I saw a dead flower next to the bird feeder. I told myself that some yard work was due when I finished my devotion. My flower garden should be a place of beauty and order. Of course my sweetheart would tell you that is a welcome change from my usual chaotic housekeeping skills. It’s not that I am unable to keep a beautiful house. It’s just not high on my list of things to do in life. I’m just saying.
One of my devotional books is a study of the women of the Bible. I am amazed that I never learned the stories of these ladies of the Lord. Each one, even the unnamed, is a unique lesson in some way. From their beautiful names to their tragic circumstances, I can see so much I missed by not knowing the stories of their lives. The Lord has placed them in the scriptures for a reason. Overlooked, understudied, and in many cases misunderstood, they each provide a glorious moment in the Book of Life. Because of my painful past, I am often drawn to the unloved, the unwanted, the sinful natures. When I delve into their lives, I see how the Lord used them, even in their brokenness, to further His kingdom here on earth. Some of them were perceived as ugly and scarred, useless to the world. Yet to God, they were just what He needed. He gave them what they needed to succeed when others failed. He knew what was in their hearts, not what was on the surface. They stood with bowed heads, off to the side of society, cast off, discarded. But in the end, they had what was needed to fulfill God’s purposes.
As I looked across the garden, I noticed a flurry of activity around my dead and dying flowers. Birds of all sizes and shapes played and scurried at the base of the sunflowers. I wondered if I had spilled some feed when I had filled the feeders last. Upon closer inspection, I noticed a most wonderous site. The bowed and ugly head of the sunflower held a bountiful feast for my feathered friends. What had seemed like a tattered and straggly stalk and leaf was a table of plenty for all manner of hungry insects. This flower, which had given me such joy when she was beautiful, was now worth even more in her old age. Her beauty had provided a joy for the eyes but her age had provided a feast for the body. And now, her lesson was food for my soul.
Let me not judge another by look or age. Let me remember that with age comes wisdom. Let me look past the broken outside and see the food for my heart that she offers me. Let me remember that there is worth in all of God’s children. Let me not put aside the older sisters in Christ. When their beauty is faded and their outside grows withered and tired, let me give them a place to rest. Let me help them live out their time on earth sharing their wisdom. Let me remind the young that the aged have a gift that can’t be bought. It must be shared. But it can’t be shared unless you sit at the feet of the flower and let the seeds of wisdom fall into your soul. Let me teach my daughters that your whole life should be lived so that you can share your gifts with those who come along behind you.
(and perhaps tomorrow, I will have those pictures from my garden and youngest daughter’s room will be cleaned. But I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you…..)