After the fire 2 weeks ago some of my plants looked like they weren’t going to make it. I planned on digging them up later on in the week and planting something new in their places, but I was surprised a few days later to see that they had no intention whatsoever of giving up on their purpose! I planted flowers and by golly they were going to keep giving me flowers, no matter the state of their leaves and stalks.
Aside from the lettuce and strawberries, my zinnias took the biggest hit from our neighbor’s fire…and I will be honest, I had a really hard time accepting that scorched flower bed at first. It went from vibrant greens and colorful blooms to scorched browns and faded greens overnight, and waking up every morning to that sight was kind of depressing for me. So even after it had become clear that my plants were indeed going to make it through, there were still a couple days where I contemplated digging them up and planting something not scorched in their places anyway.
But I felt a strange sort of kinship to those small flowers. There they were, budding and colorful and alive amidst scars and damage and a stereotypical lack of beauty elsewhere on the plant. They looked how I’d felt for so, so long…burned and scarred and broken and misunderstood…yet determined not to give up. And I loved them. So they stayed.
They stayed and I watched them continue to grow. I watched hummingbirds, bumblebees, and butterflies visit those flowers, drinking nectar and collecting pollen, seemingly happy as could be, all of them entirely unconcerned with what those zinnias looked like to the prejudiced human eye. They didn’t care whether the leaves were vibrant and green or brown and scorched. They didn’t care if the garden wasn’t picture perfect. All they cared about was if the flowers were functioning as flowers should, and if they were bringing forth the fruit that they were supposed to bring forth. Were the plants scarred? Yes. Would they ever be restored to their former glory? No. But they were still zinnias. They were still bearing exactly the fruit that God created them to. And they were, no they are, perfect.
Our heavenly Father sees things so differently than we do. And I’ve been learning from my scorched flower bed that I don’t want to see anything —whether flowers, people, things or anything else– only through human eyes anymore. There’s just so much pride and prejudice and partiality in us. So much judgement and condemnation in our hearts. And…well…I just really don’t want to be a part of that. I want my Father’s perspective and I want to become more like him and more like Jesus, and even though that is a fight of a lifetime, I think it’s worth it.
So while I’m learning and growing and failing and getting back up and learning and growing some more, I’ll continue watching God’s hummingbirds and bumblebees and my scorched flower bed, and I’ll continue to learn from them. And maybe, somewhere along the way, I can become more like them too.