Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Flowers (10/03/05)
By Hope Horner
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My dad did.
I was eight. We were out on our front lawn watering a new rose bush he had planted when he delivered the devastating news.
“Roses, daisies and pansies,” he pointed around the yard at the various flowers—“those are flowers. Dandelions are just weeds.”
I couldn’t believe my ears! My Dad might as well have just told me that Santa was not real, or that the Easter bunny was actually my Mom!
I walked over to one large dandelion that was poking its way through the dark green grass. It was open, full, and begging to be noticed. I threw myself on the ground in front of this yellow cluster to get a close-up view. The brilliant yellow reminded me of the mustard on the hot dog I had at my brother’s tee-ball game a few hours ago. I reached out and gently stroked the tiny yellow petals with the tip of my finger. This weed had petals! How could this not be a flower? I poked at the leaves of this tiny specimen which were so low on the stem they appeared to grow out of the ground. Each of the six leaves had jagged edges, but to the touch they were surprisingly smooth. The stem was tiny, fragile, celery-green and jutted up like the neck of a proud father. Science wasn’t my strong subject in school, but this sure looked like a flower to me.
“You sure this isn’t a flower Dad?” I picked the dandelion by the base of the stem and held it up for my Dad to see.
He smiled as if to say he got my point, but reiterated, “Nope, that is a weed. Soon it will dry out and its seeds will spread all over the lawn.”
“Great! Then we’ll have more flowers!” I ran the dandelion along my cheek. I could push my point further, but I didn’t want to end up on a time-out, stuck in my room on a beautiful spring day. My Dad pretended not to hear me and carried the hose, still shooting water, over to the bougainvillea bush closer to the house.
This brief, yet to my young heart—monumental moment has stuck with me over the years. I now have my own front yard full of shrubs, rosebushes and of course, dandelions. Sure, the lawnmower destroys them once a week, but I never pluck them out with the same force and fury as I do the other “weeds” that spring up all over my yard. To me, they are still flowers—pretty bursts of petite petals that always appear to be lifting their bright, yellow faces toward the sun.
It dawned on me a few years ago that God looks at me the same way that I look at the dandelion. Thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus, He doesn’t see me as a weed, pluck me out and cast me away. Instead, He sees me as His wonderful creation--a beautiful, burst of beauty, capable of reflecting His glory. So I may not be a rose, but thanks to the grace of God, I can lift my face toward the Son.
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