Essentially Sharon

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Like a Lily

I couldn’t tell you a day lily plant from goldenrod the first spring we lived here. One would bloom and was welcomed like an old friend. One was relentlessly hunted and picked and discarded preferably before it could bloom.

After a decade I can coherently identify many of the plants in the woods. Most days, my favorite path winds by a patch of day lilies. The plants are tucked in a small clearing at the bottom of a shady hill. On warm summer nights deer lie in the high grass bordering the lilies.

Our very first year here, we never saw the day lily patch in bloom.

“There are beautiful flowers in the woods where you walk,” said my elderly neighbor one afternoon. “Maybe next year you’ll see them.”

“Oh.” I responded. I didn’t understand. This was the trend when plant-talk happened around me. I wondered silently, should I know this?

“So, we won’t see them this year?” I asked.

Should I have verbally emphasized “won’t“, or “see“? Which option would have sounded like I knew anything about anything about beautiful flowers in the woods, and why hadn’t I seen them?

“No.” She paused while looking casually at a magazine. “Someone mowed over them.”

That was her polite way of pointing out that my husband, faithfully mowing walking trails up over the hill, had accidentally taken out that year’s perennial growth. There would be no day lily blossoms in the hidden clearing. Maybe I would keep this knowledge to myself for a month or two. He had spent hours mowing paths over the hill for me to wander at my leisure.

Happily, the flowers have bloomed in force every year since. Sometimes they pose for me to take their picture as a way of saying “thanks” for not being taken out by my favorite mower.

Maybe we’re all a little like the hardy hidden day lilies. Some seasons we are unexpectedly on pause. Circumstances are beyond our control. That doesn’t mean our God given gifts have been permanently muted. We need to regroup, rest, and trust the Creator’s master plan.

So extraordinary is Nature with her choicest treasures, spending plant beauty as she spends sunshine, pouring it forth into land and sea, garden and desert. And so the beauty of lilies falls on angels and men, bears and squirrels, wolves and sheep, birds and bees. – John Muir

Have you ever been on pause? What did God teach you? Provide for you? Prepare you for? What would you tell someone facing the same situation?

 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

Luke 12:27-31