“And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans”— Romans 8:28 (TLB).
After a crazy winter, spring brought with it the beauty of green grass, budding flowers, bird songs and unsightly weeds. However, I learned a lesson about weeds recently when my 4 ½ year old grandson spent the day with me.
We were in my backyard where Cash was helping me pull weeds and stack dead limbs. As I started to pull what I termed a weed, Cash said, “Nana, why are you pulling out the dandelions?”
“Because they’re weeds,” I replied as I grabbed another one to jerk out of the ground.
“No, they’re not, Nana,” he said—quite seriously, I might add. “You need to save the yellow flower because that’s the dandy part.”
The dandy part? I loved it! How often do we forget that sometimes the weeds in our lives—those “lions”—do have dandy parts?
Curious about this pesky plant that can become permanent lawn ornaments if we let them, I googled it. A dandelion is actually a flower, even though some of us consider them weeds. According to one website, every part of the dandelion is useful: root, leaves and flower and can be used for food, medicine and dye for coloring. Up until the 1800s, people would pull grass out of their lawns to make room for dandelions and other useful “weeds” like chickweed, malva, and chamomile.
Dandelions also have many culinary uses. All parts of the plant can be eaten, including as part of salads, cooked or sautéed, even fried. Dried dandelions are used to make tea and the flowers can be turned into wines.
My research also revealed the average American recognizes thousands of logos for commercial products, yet recognizes fewer than five plants that grow in his/her area. Dandelions are most likely one of those familiar plants.
The name dandelion is taken from the French word “dent de lion” meaning lion’s tooth, referring to the coarsely-toothed leaves. Dandelions also have one of the longest flowering seasons of any plant.
Recently, a friend and I were discussing the hurt she was experiencing caused by someone’s careless words and critical attitude. She was upset and needed to talk about it. She was not only hurting, she was irritated.
Paul tells us in Romans 8:28 that “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him.” While we may experience the “lions” among the “dandy,” God can take the negative and turn it into a positive. I reminded my friend she could use this irritation as an opportunity to become more Christ-like.
Author Suzanne Collins said, “What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again.”
Yes, we must choose to learn from those “lions,” but remember to embrace the “dandy.”
How are you learning from the “lions” in your life? Are you also embracing the “dandy” parts? I love hearing from my readers. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me about your lions and how you are embracing the "dandy" part.