In mid-April, the first violets started to awaken from the long winter slumber. Each day, their pleasure with spring spread across the field, turning the ground to a sea of purple with busy bees dancing above them. I can’t help but see violets and think of my late grandmother, Nan. The simple flowers were her favorite.
Can a Kentucky girl see a rose and not think of lightning-fast horses? Can orange lilies bloom and those same ladies not think of youthful, slow summers creekside with copperheads and crawdads?
What is it about flowers that draw our minds elsewhere? I’d argue it’s our longing for beauty. An aching for our home once set amongst a beautiful garden, where God walked in the cool of the day. The real thing—what God designed and designated as beautiful—much deeper than outward appearances, not artificial, photoshopped, or plastic.
Beauty. In a busy, techy, upside-down world, beauty still gives us pause. Beauty in fresh flowers. Beauty in sunrises, blushing brides, baby giggles, cathedrals, and baseball. When not blinded by the ugliness of sin, we’re more perceptive to see with our hearts all the beauty God created. But sin, the twisting and distorting of truth, will never…can never… be truly beautiful.
Sin is like black spot rose disease. Black spot is caused by the fungus, Diplocarpon rosae. It’s a common disease that does not kill the plant immediately, rather it weakens the rose through leaf loss. To me, black spot is a metaphor for the seemingly small sins of omission that weaken our resolve for holiness and make us susceptible to mortal sin. Or like parasitic kudzu vines overtaking young trees, sin blocks the light needed to thrive and grow heavenward. Or a pumpkin patch with powdery mildew–good fruit is stunted, corrupted, or dead.
I think this is what has struck me the most about the recent war waging on women’s wombs. Those who support abortion no longer make the effort to hide the ugly demons that influence them. Wailing, gnashing of teeth, broken windows, and desecration of what’s holy is Satan’s game. Like the pretty but poisonous hemlock, Satan can only operate with skin-deep beauty for a short while until Misery, Emptiness, and Hopelessness show their all too familiar faces.
How do we fight the parasitic fungus of our day, dear friends? How do we fight darkness and hate? With love and truth, the truest beauty of the Cross.
The Divine Maker of Beauty, the one who is Beauty itself, created us all in His image. Therefore, everyone is valuable. Everyone is worthy of love. Everyone deserves to be told the truth—that it’s wrong to enable, promote, permit, or be silent any longer on the matter of abortion. And that no one, absolutely no one, is beyond grace.
Even outside of Eden, the world is still beautiful. The Creator loves us so much that He continues to adorn our days with holy reminders, hoping your gaze will go beyond that one, unassuming violet to the horizons they cover, and to far above.
Next time, look softly on the determined dandelion growing in a sidewalk crack and hear the tender whispers of Jesus saying, “For you, my beloved. For you.”