Deep Within

IMG_5776“My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.” Song of Solomon 6:2

I love flowers! Really, who doesn’t? I enjoy gardening, and can’t think of a time where my summer garden spaces and planters weren’t overflowing with a colorful array of blossoms.

On a recent visit to Florida, I had several opportunities to walk around the resort. I was impressed with the landscaping, especially the exotic blooms everywhere I looked. And that’s when my meaningful moment opened up—just like a flower.

“God, you are amazing,” I whispered. “How am I just noticing something about flowers for the first time?” There in the unfolding of petals was a lesson about looking deep within. The flowers—with all their colors, varieties, shapes and sizes—had even more to them than meets the eye. I was able to look “deep within” and see spectacular beauty that a momentary glance would have never revealed.

When I studied the flowers, I noticed that some had smaller flowers within bigger blooms; others were so bizarre that I actually missed the splendor right in front of me. One such flower protruded from a thick dark purple stalk about two or three feet high. It looked reptile-like, with the large bulb appearing as a snake’s head. I was more horrified than impressed.

But the very next day on my walk, God uncovered for me the flower’s true splendor. The bulb, which I had seen as a snake’s head just the day before, had burst forth to form a bouquet of sweetly scented purple-edged light wine-colored flowers. Stunning! I later learned that I was looking at a Queen Emma Lily. A royal name for an oddly impressive plant.

Then there was a little white flower that glittered as if covered in frost. I mistook it as a tiny orchid, but when I looked deep within, I saw what appeared to be a tiny carving of the Madonna. Being brought up Catholic, this was particularly meaningful. And so fittingly named—Virgin Mary in Moon Orchid.

What’s especially gratifying is that my meaningful moment went far beyond picturesque blooms. The flowers also spoke to me of life, and the people we encounter in our journey through it. Like flowers, people are created in all shapes and colors, and with distinctive characteristics. But ask yourself, how often do you walk through life and barely notice them? Do you judge people by their appearances? Do you instantly see flaws? Do you make harsh judgments based on how someone looks?

Have you ever met someone and determined that you didn’t really care for them, but after you got to know them, you became friends? Looking deep within, you discovered their exceptionality!

As a believer in Jesus Christ, you are more than blessed. You have a Savior who looks deep within—beyond your scars, flaws and sins. And what he sees is your beauty, your frailty and your strength. He knows who you are, and if you ask him, He’ll help you fulfill your true calling.

He looks—deep within—and loves you so very much! And He’s just waiting to see you blossom into the child He made you to be!

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