When she was a child, my friend, Lois, had a much-hated chore; on Saturdays, she had to pull all the weeds from the shallow ditch at the edge of their property. Most of the “weeds” were Queen’s Anne’s Lace. You can imagine why, as an adult, she was horrified to see the tables in the dining room of a friend’s home decorated with vases of roses and Queen Anne’s Lace. She asked about the “weeds”, and was told that their family treasured the flower because of the intricate beauty of its makeup.
Queen Anne’s Lace begins with a spindly stalk that soon pushes out tiny branches while producing a 3-4 inch flower on the major stem. Left to develop without the interference of mowers the plant becomes a wide bush. If you look at the underside of this flower, you will be amazed at the detailed beauty there. Thirty-plus flowerets form the larger flower. Each of those small flowers has a tiny stem and a small spray of green that protects it. It is so delicately perfect that I wish I could display it as I do the large snowflake appearance of the flower itself.
Appreciating something is all in the way we look at it. And if we look, we can find beauty in everything. And if we can see beauty, we are getting glimpses of God. Try looking for beauty in unlikely places. What beauty can you find in:
- Thunder that cracks like a rifle shot
- The gnarled hand outstretched to you
- A grating sound when you apply the brake
- A drooping African violet with one tiny bloom
- Something you see as ugly, unpleasant, or unwanted…
God’s wonderful creation speaks to us all the time. To quote Elizabeth Browning:
Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.
Find the beauty in yourself, too.
Peace and Joy to you.
Oldenburg Franciscan Center
Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg