Growing up, I remember traveling with my grandmother in the car. No one was ever prepared for the sudden gasps my grandmother would make when she saw a distant flower. By the time the driver swerved back onto the roadway and regained control of the vehicle she was exclaiming, “Did you see that lush flower?”. In my middle age, I am heading toward her deep affection for flowers. One summer project of mine is to photograph as many beautiful flowers as I can. In this age where a camera is always handy, there is no need to gasp at flowers passing by, I just pull the car over and snap away.
The unexpected color on the side of the road and the sheer multitude of roadside wildflowers captivate me. In my quest to photograph every flower in my path, it brought me to the most interesting flower I have photographed yet. A simple wayside flower. There were hundreds like it along the fence of a cow pasture, but it was this flower that took me by surprise and caused me to think about it long after I was gone.
This flower has most likely gone unnoticed by everyone who has passed by it. On a lonely country road with many others that look just like it, they will quickly pass away within a short time. Why should it stand out as an attraction worth stopping for? That is only answered when you move in close enough to observe it. It is more intricate than any painting. Delicate, yet sturdy enough to withstand wind and storms. This seemingly unimportant wayside flower is humble but has the grace of a ballerina.
I am thankful that I was prompted to stop and get close to this wildflower. I meditated all evening on what a spectacular marvel this tiny flower was. It required no special attention or planting by human hands, yet it overwhelmed me. It reminded me of Jesus’ words, “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like on of these”. Matthew 16:28-29.
More than the clothes we wear, many of us worry that we are insignificant. Like the wayside flower we feel passed by hundreds of times a day, no one even bothers to look. Let me assure you, that you are like exactly like that wayside flower! You are magnificent and you have been made with such careful attention it should boggle the mind. Although many pass by unaware of your intricate details and beauty, occasionally someone will caught off guard by what you have to offer the world.
Whatever you are doing to make the world more beautiful, keep doing it. Even if there seem to be hundreds, even thousands just like you making an effort to create the same beauty, keep going. A wayside flower doesn’t demand attention, it doesn’t try to be different, it isn’t the biggest or the most colorful. The wayside flower simply adds to the earth what it sprang up to contribute in the short time it was given…whether anyone notices or not, God notices.
For weekly inspiration in the Christian faith visit Dirt Road Believer YouTube.