Daffodils: A Thing of Beauty
*(this blog was written as the devotion for the Women’s Ministry field trip to the Gloucester Daffodil Festival)
Daffodils and daffodil festivals remind me of Williams Wordsworth’s poem:
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
“The true, the beautiful and the good.” Historical Christian tradition affirm that these values are inseparable for the believer. Beauty is the splendor of truth. Or as one scholar has said,
“The Glory of the Lord, therefore, is the super eminently luminous beauty of divinity beyond all experience and all descriptions, all categories, a beauty before which all earthly splendors, marvelous as they are, pale into insignificance.”
These are things we do not think about a lot in our normal Christian experiences. Often we believe we are seeking truth – black and white truth. But it is in our nature to seek to reflect the image of God in us that from the moments of creation, has filled this world with truth, wrapped in beauty. Black and white truths burst into glorious color when Jesus, the radiance of the Father touches our lives.
Today a small town is celebrating the beauty of one small yellow flower. A whole day of festival activities because we have found something beautiful and some of us, see that as an opportunity to worship a God of truth.
Daffodil flowers are born from bulbs. Unlike seeds, bulbs are plants that actually live under the ground but are visible above the ground when their leaves grow up through the surface of the soil. Whereas seeds are only the final stage of a plant's reproduction, bulbs are the entire life cycle of a plant from beginning to end. So, what we see above the ground are just the visual leaves of the plant that is whole and complete under the earth, a seed, the final stage of a plant’s reproduction cycle. These brilliant yellow flowers have been waiting in darkness, yet fully alive, for many cold winter months.
The scripture has many beautiful and true references to the creativity of our God who loves to put his visual creation together with his words of truth. A few reminders are:
Isaiah 55:10- excerpts:
As the rain comes down from heaven and waters the earth, making seeds sprout and give seeds to the sower... so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth. It shall not return to me empty but will accomplish that for which I sent it.
Think about the lilies of the field. They don’t toil or spin, but even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like even one of these.
1 Corinthians 3:7:
It isn’t the gardener or the waterer, but only God gives the growth.
Song of Solomon 2:12:
When the flowers appear on the earth. The time of singing has come.
The desert will rejoice and blossom like the crocus. It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing.
May God use something as ordinary as daffodils as a reminder for Him to lavish your hearts with truth and beauty.
Here you can read perspectives on life, ministry and God's Word from a variety of PCC's female leaders.