09.27.2016

The Day the Flowers Disappeared

Their arrival came unannounced. Little by little, small blooms of lavender loveliness burst forth from sleepy buds.

Days ago, we stopped to notice that on the most familiar path our family travels multiple times a day, the field blossomed, and purple shoots of glory budded unannounced by the thousands. We all admitted to not noticing when it was just a few, but when thousands appeared, we unanimously turned our head toward the glory on display. The field along the drive in and out of our neighborhood had turned to a heavenly slice of splendor for our enjoyment. In the crazy chaos of going and coming, that little field of flowers sparked a hushed whisper of hope every time we passed.

Wild Flowers

Have purple flowers grown in the field before? The children questioned me, hoping I could recall.

“I don’t remember.”

That unremarkable reply was all I could answer to the curious ones riding with me day after day by the field. We all remembered the yellow flowers that sometimes grow there, but the purple seemed new. I can’t remember a season of purple majesty throughout the field. For days, we’ve repeated the common refrain of “let’s go pick some of those beautiful flowers.” Those kids know this momma’s heart. I adore wildflowers. What others call weeds, I clip and bring into our home, scatter around our back porch in containers.

Every day, I agreed with their sentiment. The youngest repeated it most often.

“When we get home, lets come back on our bikes and pick some flowers.”

For days, I’ve told her no. Not because I didn’t want to, but because the crush of time didn’t allow for us to ride bikes toward the wildflower field and clip a little bit of their gorgeous to bring into our home. She asked the most, and my promise held out, but never moved into what she most desired. “We will, honey.” I said it days in a row.

On Sunday, the middle boy asked if he could ride his bike around the neighborhood. With my yes, he was gone, and he returned with purple flowers clenched in his fist as he steadied himself while riding down our driveway.

I smiled. That boy isn’t waiting on his momma to clip wildflowers. He’s heard my promised “we will” for days. His smile lit up as he walked up the front steps and into the kitchen. He didn’t know I’d been watching him from where I washed dishes at the sink and knew the gift he grasped in his hand before he walked in the door.

I received his gift and smiled, as I clipped them into bouquets and placed them on our windowsill. Just a little reminder of the goodness we’ve been passing for days.

Wild Flowers

The very next day, all the flowers were gone.

Not even a full rotation of the earth, and where thousands of flowers once grew wild, lay barren stalks, laid out on the ground by tractors, chopping the field to pieces, making hay.

Empty Field of FlowersOnly the flowers plucked by the hand of the boy hoping to surprise his momma are still thriving. We passed by the field late last night, when it was dark enough to tell the flowers were gone. We strained our eyes toward the darkness of the field, making certain of their disappearance. Maybe a small section was left, where we could hurriedly pick more to fill the containers still empty on the back porch, waiting for the promised flowers.

When we slowly drove by in the early morning light, the sun’s revealing rays told us what we already knew, even when viewed in the blackness of night. Those purple flowers were hacked to pieces by blades of tractors. The field we took so much pleasure in as we passed is laid bare, with wilted flowers where live ones once thrived.

The youngest one commented on what we’d failed to do.

“We never went pick a bunch of flowers.”

Truth in one sentence can sometimes knock you a little off your feet.

The gutted field of flowers gut punched hard where I’d hoped we’d one day make memories. The barrenness of that field shouted wistful words of reminder.

The grass withers, the flower fades,
    but the word of our God will stand forever.— Isaiah 40:8

We must teach them eternal things.

The morning plates cluttered the kitchen counter. I placed biscuits and scrambled eggs on the five plates for those slowly waking up.

FlowersJust moments later, all plates cleared, and one last look before we headed off, the island empty. I’ve complained of the clutter, the work, the mess, the mundane. But an empty island spoke louder than the fullness of many things.

Empty Island Flowers

When nothing is left, only the eternal things whisper His name.

Those flowers are gone, and when we pass again today and tomorrow and the next, that field will turn brown and only our memories will document the purple splendor that once stood.

The author of Ecclesiastes proclaims that a sovereign God “has made everything beautiful in its time, and He has also set eternity in the human heart.” These words echo of a holiness that’s here. When humanity and eternity mingle, the harmonies of the chorus sing eternal praise. Whom he crowns here, he crowns there. Glimpses of glory here foreshadow eternal glory there.

Our most familiar paths bring brave glances of eternal glory. Flowers bursting into bloom, children clamoring around a kitchen island. The flowers in the field grew quietly for weeks before we noticed them. The seeds sprouted into small blades, that grew into majestic glory.

The flowers spoke of his name. Of his majesty. Of his crown of glory.

He’s king here, too. Mundane can speak majesty. We listen to it here that we must not forget He’s the King of the World.

The drudgery of familiarity can feel wearisome. The field of flowers can wait, we tell ourselves.

Until it’s no longer there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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