Down here in the land down under, spring is raging! Driving and walking are pure delight this season. There is blossom everywhere, the promise of fruit in the summer. My native plants have half hidden flowers that seem to peep at me, making me double back to see them in greater detail, to make further acquaintance with them. This reminds me of the time I walked on the beach at sunset, closer to the sandhills than to the sea. Minute little lights seemed to pop up from the sand just behind me, and would disappear as soon as I turned to look at them. They belonged to a worm that attracted flies or something in this manner. They attracted me too. However, they couldn’t eat me and gave up without really trying!
I exclaimed over bluebells this morning. The single bulbs that were planted a couple of years ago have doubled and doubled again and are looking “splendiferous” this year. (I don’t know whether it’s a typically Aussie habit or an old celtic one to create words to greet the occasion). My Chinese student, used to his 17th story apartment without a garden (overlooking a park however) chuckles to himself over my antics when a new flower emerges, and is happy to share in my delight.
What enchants me about many Australian flowers is that habit of peeping out through the foliage (as distinct from being emblazoned upon the plant in “Hey, look at me” mode). There are personalities like this, rich and exquisite, but often un-noticed. I wonder if biblical Nathanael, so amazed that Jesus had noticed him under the fig tree, was such? A man without guile, to be so noticed was miraculous to him so that he immediately stated that Jesus must be the Son of God, the King of Israel. To Jesus he was very noticeable for his deep humility, gentleness and lack of craftiness, but to others he was one of the invisible ones, or maybe a quiet achiever.
He totally delighted Jesus with his recognition of Him, and Jesus prophesied for him special vision of the spiritual world, specifically of angels ministering to Jesus.
We have a quiet lass at church who has overcome a speech impediment to become a student excelling at presenting her work.. She works hard in the background, managing the complex sound equipment, looking for no recognition, and I was delighted to see her in particularly high regard as one of the pastors selected her for special ministry.
I think there are many children who peep at life from behind the demands of a disabled brother or sister who takes most of the attention. Watch out for these when you see disability, because they often feel neglected or of lesser importance and this is not the case.
Delicate flower as tender as spider web,
Sneaking a peak from behind a green veil,
Dark is the red of your rarified antlers,
And sweetly your perfume my nostrils assail.
What are you hiding behind that shy face of yours?
May I discover your secretive gift?
May I perchance recognise your integrity
As from the world of the banal you shift.
Jesus delights in naive personality
Standing afar in the shade of the tree,
No-one escapes our beloved Lord’s attention
When beauty of spirit is his quality.
We, too, can look past the obvious charisma
See with our Lord’s eyes the spirit in men,
And we can encourage the gentle perspective
And honour the wisdom developed within.
Let us look deeper than outer presentation,
Past the detail of clothing and face,
Past even the popular joking and laughter,
Looking for kindness, sweetness and grace.
I believe Jesus was just such a person,
Lacking in comeliness, this tender plant
Knew despising, rejection, and lack of esteem as he
Wore our chastising. Even to this date
He suffers the mocking of cynics and sceptics,
Unable to see that He’s King of all Kings.
For self-will is blind, touching only the surfaces.
Yet eyes to see, ears to hear can learn all things.
But the hidden things of God will be revealed in glory
And Jesus, His Son, will sit, crowned, on a throne,
Judging us all, “Did you recognise holiness
Covered in blood, and did you then come?”
Look deeper, my brothers and sisters in Jesus.
The outside is never the whole of the Truth.
But understand proverbs, enigmas and riddles.
Know Jesus, death, Life followed by eternal youth!
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