A tribute to Helen, my Australian friend.
It is a wonderfully bright and sunny day. I love this kind of weather, when the sun is high in the sky, bringing its marvelous light. The heavenly rays are exhilarating, filling me with unspeakable joy. There is a gentle summer breeze swirling around, lovingly caressing me with the Father’s love.
Happily I walk through the flower garden that my city in Northeastern Ohio is well-known for. Oh, the vibrant colors that greet me there! The delicate flowers seem to wave their petals in salute as I admire their beauty. There are so many varieties that I soon lose myself in the vastness of this glorious painting created by the Master’s hand. How He must love me to bless me with such a splendid array of beauty for my eyes to feast upon. How blessed I am to be in this land I call my home that offers such a view of the greatness of God’s love!
Just when I think it could not get better, the aroma of this garden tantalizes my sense of smell. The scents are unique, each one different from the next, yet combine to make the garden as rare as the finest perfume. I stand mesmerized as the fragrant fumes fill every part of my being.
I walk on, enjoying the view from every angle of the garden. There is no place among the flowers that is better or worse than the next. Every step I take, the flowers still surround me on every side, as all-encompassing as God’s love for me.
Suddenly, I find myself in the middle of the garden. There is a fountain there, with living water springing from its foundation. The water gently splashes over the sides of the fountain, dropping to the ground unnoticed. And then I see something almost hidden in the shadow of the picturesque fountain. The drops of water are landing on the petals of the most beautiful flower I have ever seen! It is growing in the shadow of the fountain. And the Lord speaks to me and says, “She grows in the shadow of My wings. For she knows there is everything she has need of to become my beautiful flower if she hides in the safety of My shadow!”
I sit on the ground next to this flower of God. I long to be near her. Her colors are forever changing, so that I cannot tell what her true color is. God tells me her colors are whatever I choose to see, because He is whatever color I choose to see, and she hides in His shadow. I love all colors, as God does, so this flower is the sum of all colors. Her petals are soft, yet bold and strong. They are dripping with the fountain’s water that continually washes over her. This water represents the flow of the Holy Spirit in and through her. She knows where her strength comes from, and welcomes the flow moment by moment. Oh, and the aroma that fills my nostrils! It is as sweet incense, a perfect fragrance from the throne room of Heaven! She carries the scent of God, and it is as no other. Her scent is lifted back to the Father as a sacrifice of praise to Him. She is alone, not among the others in the garden. Why? Because she knows she is never alone when she is in the shadow of the Father’s wings. She would rather be there than anywhere else in the world.
I ask where this flower comes from. God whispers, “She is from the ‘Land Down Under’.”
“Australia?” is my puzzled response.
“Yes, child, that is right. For this one has been under Me from the time of her creation. She has been hiding in My shadow, growing in My love, from the time she was born. It is only right that she be born in what the world calls the ‘Land Down Under’. She has never exalted herself, but has stayed under the shadow of the Most High God, and I am so pleased with her.”
“And what do you call this flower, Lord?” He smiles and says, “Flower of Grace.”
I will return often to this garden. I will enjoy the walk, but will hurry to sit once more in the shadow of God’s fountain of love, where the flower of His grace blooms forevermore!
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