Going out and exploring nature makes my heart sing, as my mother would say. Seeing what God created first hand has brought me many realizations and much joy in life. God points me to truth and reminds me who He is with a field of lightning bugs, or the striations and turns of hiking in the Narrows, or the elation of exhaustion from reaching the top of a mountain.
Big nature experiences can sometimes overshadow the seemingly mundane moments of seeing God’s creation. On a walk recently I came upon some wildflowers. Their colors painted a small part of the path with reds, pinks, purples, oranges and blues. As the breeze brushed across my face, the flowers swayed back and forth. The breeze turned to a stronger wind because, Oklahoma. As the wind shifted, the buds and blossoms started to whip back and forth more violently.
I always view flowers as these delicate gems we don’t touch for fear of tarnish. Fresh cut flowers always make me smile and remind me to always make where I find myself beautiful with something simple like flowers. Tending to a garden has rarely been a successful or reasonable feat for me at this point in life, so I am more than okay with fresh cut flowers filling my life with their fragile and fleeting beauty.
But in the moment when the wind shifted on that path, I saw flowers in a different way. The flexibility and strength with which that patch of the field waved back and forth caused me to pause. Flowers, though temporal by nature, hold a great and underestimated amount of power and durability that we must look to truly see.
When connected to their roots, flowers can withstand far more than I give them credit for. When tended to, they go from a seed and blossom into something that brings the world beauty.
Flowers make life possible for other living things. Through pollination flowers work with other living things to sustain and promote life for more than just themselves. They work with creatures completely unlike them to bolster a healthier ecosystem. Their delicate petals and unique shapes each designed for a purpose to aide their role in the world.
And all this time, I belittled blossoms to a weak sign of beauty.
How often do we do that to ourselves?
I know I have undervalued the skills and gifts God designed me to use. Or I lose my own connection to truth and begin to wither. At times I have only allowed others to be one thing to me, boxing them in instead of allowing them to change and grow to the whole person they were meant to be.
What would our lives look like if we saw the strength and the unique design each of us holds instead just one thing? What would happen if we took the time to see each other as whole people instead of just one or a few aspects of each other?
I am by no means great at this. But in the small amount of time I have intentionally worked to see whole people, my capacity and awareness towards empathy and understanding of individuals and humanity has began to grow. I think that is what Jesus does and calls us to do more of. To love God and love people, as Bob Goff says.
So this week, let’s all look beyond the one dimensional view of each other we have allowed to form. And instead let’s start to see the full beauty, the strength, the purpose in each other. And maybe, just maybe we can start to make the world a stronger more beautiful place for us all to blossom and grow.