6 May 2020
A Moment to Reflect – 8
When Jesus advised his disciples to ‘consider the lilies’ he wasn’t talking about the big ostentatious, extrovert blooms favoured by gardeners and flower arrangers— he was talking about wildflowers, ‘the flowers of the field,’ the kind that lots of people wouldn’t even notice, and many would step on without thinking, the sort of plant that many gardeners might think of as a weed.
I don’t think it was intended to be a botany lesson: I do think it was meant to shape our attitudes towards other people. After all, it’s what Jesus himself did—saying to ‘the least of these’ you matter to me.
A few years ago, I took a walk through the RSPB nature reserve at Baron’s Haugh, Motherwell, with my camera. I was amazed at the number of different varieties of wild orchid growing there. Some were instantly noticeable; others were hiding shyly in the background, but each one deserved my close attention.
Learning to pay attention is the first step in authentic discipleship… which brings me back to the words of Henri Nouwen:
“Just as a whole world of beauty can be discovered in one flower, so the great grace of God can be tasted in one small moment. Just as no great travels are necessary to see the beauty of creation, so no great ecstasies are needed to discover the love of God.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Genesee Diary