He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Eccl. 3:11
You ARE Beautiful: A Wildflower in God's Kingdom
By: Carol McClain @carol_mcclain
|Looking out on Cades Cove off Rich Mountain Loop|
Three friends and I spend as many Saturdays as we can walking the Smokies.
Me--give me a sweeping vista or a roaring waterfall and my jaw drops, my camera comes out and I never want to leave. Position a photogenic structure in front of it, and my dreaming mind swims with awe-inspiring ideas. John Oliver's cabin, pictured below, is the quintessentially picturesque scene for me.
|Can you imagine living in this environment? John Oliver's cabin, Cades Cove|
It's a world of the tiny, and the overlooked. It's a world many people call weeds and trample underfoot. A world so magnificent, we rob ourselves of infinite beauty and intricacy by not noticing--by not celebrating. It's the world of wildflowers.
Last week, we walked the Rich Mountain Loop off of Cades Cove. Here we discovered a teeny flower familiarly called Pussytoes.
Here it is from a human-eye view, rather nondescript. (And I'm sorry for the blurry rendition).
|from a distance--antennaria solitaria--aka pussyfeet|
Alone, it does little for the human eye. However, it spread into a beautiful polka-dotted carpet that captured our attention. None of us had seen this flower before and we knelt to examine it.
|Antennaria solitaria--aka Pussytoes|
I leaned in close and studied it. How magnificent. Look at the multitude of petals, the contrasting pistils and stamens, and the complexity of the flower.
This is us. So few of us in life make it as a giant hibiscus or bird of paradise, let alone a common, but exquisite and fragrant, tea rose.
That doesn't mean we aren't beautiful, complex, exquisite. It doesn't mean we don't add beauty to the world.
You are beautiful
- You are complex and intricately made. Look at your hand--the delicacy of the bones, the ability of the fingers to grasp, the opposable thumb and fingers that move independently of each other according to our whim. That's only a teeny portion of your intricacy.
- You create a world of beauty. Your smile encourages others. Your covered-dish at a pot luck feeds the hungry. Your family is comfortable in the home you establish. The world is bland without you in it.
- Gifts would be lost to creation without you. Scientists can stop a bridge from being built because a worm resides in that environment. How much more important is your existence to that of the smallest member of the environment?
- In unison, with like-minded believers, you carpet the world in love. There is strength in numbers.
When I look at the vista of the Smokies, I don't see the millions of Pussytoes or galaxes or trailing arbutuses carpeting the region. I only see the end effect.
So, too, in the church and in your life, you are a part of the splendid vista of God.