Have you ever looked at a picture, and seen yourself? Maybe she resembled you, though perhaps she just had an air about her, a strength or conversely a meekness. Maybe the movement in the hem of her skirt, moved you. Or the sight she gazed upon, stirred in you a homesickness. Perhaps an elderly woman's long thin fingers made you think of Grandma, transporting you back to a younger you.
Even an inanimate object can objectify your deep loneliness, grand dreams, self-perception, or the overflowing sensation of your satisfied heart. A picture of an old home, sitting empty on a hill; a garden, overgrown with vines; a shadow of a mother in a sunhat. And your heart cries, "That's me!"
Yesterday one of my dearest friends, photographer Tammy Labuda, captured this image.
Not a brown eyed, brown haired woman, but a flower. Grabbed by little hands, crushing pedals, brought as a love offering to her mother. The flower made it home from the ball field, and into a simple glass vase.
Still with a song to sing.
Wilting though vibrant.
Feminine and worthy of a picture,
but not the loveliest flower ever photographed.
Unique alone, but lost in a bouquet.
So very much like me.
And I thought of the weeds in my garden. The ones my children bring as gifts, plucked and delivered with missing pedals, root exposed, smelling of earth.
I've always been a fan of weeds. Weeds are, after all, flowers. Flowers uncultivated.
Blown by the wind into the wild, they are wildflowers. Blown from the wild into your yard, they are weeds.
This morning I went to my garden, covered in dew, in search of the loveliest weed I could find. One big, multi-stemmed, purple display of splendor grew up from a crack beside the barbecue. Then I walked up the hill, past our grove of lemon trees to our neighbor's orange grove - where yellow weeds are called wildflowers. I broke off a couple stems and made a bouquet.
As I walked among bees drinking nectar, I drank in the promise that God has planted me purposefully. I have been planted beneath Ms. Holly's orange trees, within our Living Rooms, with my specific husband and our boys.
I am not a weed.
Truth be told, I am not that flower at all. I am planted firmly and carefully by the God of creation. And nothing can pluck me from His strong hand. Not even children's hands, seemingly tugging at my roots. Neither is my life blown about my chance - but by the breath of God.
He brings out the wind from His storehouses. (Jeremiah 10:13)
Last night I read Genesis 1 with my youngest, from the Bible he received at yesterday's kindergarten Sunday School promotion. He took his leather bound truth, placed it on his pillow and said, "I'm going to sleep on my Bible tonight. Here on my pillow. But first you're going to read it to me."
"Where do you want me to start?" I asked.
"At the beginning."
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth..." And the story went on. I stopped when the Lord finished His work and rested, and told my son it was time for him to do the same. My mind continued to work through the night and into this morning; working through the reality that God, who created each seed bearing tree and flower on the third day, planted me.
And planted you.
In your home.
With your loved ones.
Not blown by chance.
Let the Conversation begin: Do you feel tossed about, thrown about, waiting to take root and bloom? Or are you aware today, that the Lord has done a specific planting in your life? You are right where He has you. You are a display of His Splendor!
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 one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you -- you of little faith? (Matthew 6:28-30)