… At my feet the white-petaled daisies display
the small suns of their center piece their–if you don’t mind
my saying so–their hearts. Of course
I could be wrong, perhaps their hearts are pale and
narrow and hidden in their roots. What do I know,
But this: it is heaven itself to take what is given,
to see what is plain;
what the sun lights up willingly…
~Excerpt from “Daisies” by Mary Oliver
He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me… It’s funny how some things, even those learned in early childhood, never fade from memory. I’ll bet most, if not all of you, remember pulling the petals off a daisy and reciting this ditty over and over again until the final petal gave up the supposed truth. Georgia O’Keefe, the American artist who painted those amazing, large-format pictures of enlarged blossoms, said of them, “When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for a moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in a city rush around so they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.” Why would she feel that way? I think it’s because there is just something in the “world of a flower” that exudes sanctitude and goodness, a revelation that sheds light into the mysteries of life. And its words seem to say over and over again, “I speak of a divine and devoted lover. I tell tales of a garden created in a faraway place, a long time ago. I describe a tragic fall therein from divine Grace. I relate attempts to redeem the lost children of subsequent generations. I narrate stories of a Savior who did His father’s bidding. I share the story of the Christ’s sacrifice and His magnanimous offer of redemption. I talk of holy men bound to spread the Messiah’s story who, as they moved from one monastery garden to another, spread species of my kind from place to place. I inspire men of rhymes to write poetry about me that speaks to human hearts. I sing hopeful, prophetic melodies of my faithful return year and year, millennia upon millennia. I whisper words from above of unending love into listening ears. Quite simply, if you look at me and hold me, cherish me and revere me, I will make known to you the Creator of heaven and earth, and you will forever bless His holy name for He is the One who answered once and for all your childhood query.
But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever. ~Psalm 52:8 ✝
Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!