Monday, August 19, 2013

Can a Flower Speak?

Spring gives birth to a beautiful season called summer in which the expression of nature takes on a life of its own.  Colors, fragrance, design and distinctive sound can tantalize our senses from sight, to smell, to shape, to vibration.  I'd like to emphasize one such creation as flowers, which come in so many varieties enticing a human's imagination to produce works of art.  This comes in the form of flower gardens, florist arrangements and an array of creativity in jewelry, perfume, paintings and photography in the expression of the essence of a flower.  Nature has it's own display in a diversity of wildflowers scattered in fields and mountains to be enjoyed.  

Colors are exquisite and cover the spectrum in series of light, each commanding attention to its characteristic hue.  
The fragrance of flowers is uniquely different according to the specific flower.  The aroma is not only attractive to a human, but the scent of a flower attracts insects and birds in pollination.
The shape of a flower comes in all forms and sizes, having a basic structure common to the flower plant, but differ in distinctive features in appearance.
The sounds of a flower.... does a flower speak?  Not audibly, but if you truly notice a flower, their blooms can speak volumes in their own language.  Have you ever heard of "floriography"?  Since botany began, flowers give meaning and symbolism through their hundreds of years in existence.  Take for example, the Bleeding Heart.....

I have always admired the beauty of the bleeding heart blossom. It is a favorite of mine along with the magnificent rose.  Both are indicative of love but I'd like to reflect on the bleeding heart in today's post.  Its delicate beauty speaks loudly through its simplicity.  No other plant has a perfect heart-shaped flower and the blossoms are considered a symbol of undying love and stand for elegance and fidelity.  

Spiritually speaking, the bleeding heart brings to mind the compassion of heart expressed in 1 Peter 3:8..."All of you should be of one mind.  Sympathize with one another.  Love each other as brothers and sisters.  Be tenderhearted and keep a humble attitude."  
The medieval name and/or religious meaning is "Mary's Heart", suggesting the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  This is a devotional name used to refer to the interior life and the beauties of the soul of the Virgin Mary.

If you turn a bleeding heart blossom upside down and pull the two halves apart, use your imagination and you will see a lady in a pink bathtub, or perhaps a white lyre with strings of silk.  You can also press the flowers between the pages of a heavy book and use these tiny hearts in decorating letters, cards, a valentine message or create a bookmark.

There is a beautiful quote built on three key words, blossom, fragrance and influence.  I leave you with this thought...."The blossom cannot tell what becomes of its fragrance as it drifts away, just as no person can tell what becomes of their influence as they continue through life". ~ Unknown
This is a suitable message for me regarding flowers.  I have decided to take more time to "stop and smell the roses", which is necessary for freshness in perspective and inspiration.  I will be posting every two weeks instead of on a weekly basis on my blog.  With that being said, here's an old Irish blessing for you, my readers, "Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand."
See you on Monday, September 2...    I hope you will continue to meet me at The Turn-Up Patch.



Monday, August 12, 2013

The Glass

Many of you are familiar with the scenario of the glass and about attitude as to how we view our experiences in life. Several philosophical theories have been developed about the glass, which can contain liquid, being full or half-filled, or remaining empty.    The following illustrations give the varied narratives about the glass....

Regarding the theme of the glass, it promotes the idea of a school of thought, whether it is towards pessimism, optimism, opportunity, a realist or an enlightened moment.  Here are some of the underlining forces that can determine how one lives their life either for growth and increase or loss and stagnation:
1.  Choice
2.  Perspective
3.  Personal Filter
4.  Life Experience
5.  Influence
6.  Gratitude or lack of
7.  Belief System
8.  Counting Blessings

There is a scripture in Philippines 4: 12, 13, which states:  
"I know what it is like to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty.  In any and all circumstances, I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need.  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me".   
The secret that Paul is referring to is the secret of contentment, whether his glass in life was half full or half empty or completely full or completely empty.  His station in life did not account for his happiness or contentment.  This secret was His reliance on One who was beyond himself.  He discovered an 'alive' God who became his sustaining strength throughout the good times and the bad, and yes, the empty times as well.  One of the meanings of contentment is to have a peace to dwell in.  It would be wonderful to reach a maturity level to walk through the sunshine and storms of life where inner peace is not disturbed.  As Philippines 4:7 says, "and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus."

In looking through images of the glass, I discovered this one that really has something to say.  The glass is shown half filled but it is full of the winged presence of butterflies and doves, both representative of renewing life through God's Holy Spirit.  You can look at the photo below and see out of your own personal perspective.  To me, it becomes my life (the glass), which is full of possibilities and purpose.  His Divine Life flowing within me should not be obstructed by whatever circumstance I find myself in.  God's Presence breaks the barriers of circumstance, and becomes an outward expression of an internal state of being.  I discover peace in the progression of Life within 'the glass'.

Until next Monday, see you again at the Turn-Up Patch.  In the meantime, have a great week and  may you be blessed with contentment and peace as only God can bring.......

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Broken Butterfly

It is estimated that there are 20,000 species of butterflies in the world.  Can you imagine the creative display of winged colors and designs to exhibit on such a large scale?  They stimulate the imagination of the human mind to fashion their own creations of butterflies through stories, paintings, jewelry, pottery, acrylic design; just to name a few.  Here are a few photos of butterfly wings which show off such intricate glory in their natural state.   Through the eye of the camera lens, many thanks to the unknown photographers who were able to capture such beauty to share with the rest of the world.

One of the most incredible facts about butterflies is the way they change from crawling caterpillars into winged beauties. There are four steps in becoming a butterfly: egg, caterpillar, pupa, and adult. This process is called metamorphosis, which comes from the Latin words for "changing shape."

I am amazed at the varieties of butterflies, which exist in so many countries of the world, each having a dazzling spectrum of colored patterns in their wings.  We are intrigued by their beauty and hardly consider them an insect. They remind me of colors which you see in stained glass, artistically orchestrated in a motif symphony of brilliance.  The photo below is of a butterfly called the "stained glass butterfly".

Butterflies can be rather difficult to photograph as they flutter through the air, doing their graceful wing dance until they decide to light upon a bush, a leaf, or a flower.   I spotted one such butterfly landing on a tree leaf just long enough for me to take a couple of shots with my camera.  As I zoomed in for a closer view, I discovered the butterfly had broken wings; parts and pieces were missing as you can see from the photo below.  The butterfly escaped my scrutiny and flitted away, oblivious to the fact that his wings were not whole. He took to the air and continued his graceful wing dance to find another place to rest or search for butterfly food, deliciously found in flower nectar or tree sap.   As you can see, compared to the butterflies in the photos above, this one is not whole as the others but still beautiful in design and able to fly, doing what butterflies do.    

I use this illustration to talk about brokenness, which affects humanity.  We live in a broken world and as a result, each human being has experienced brokenness that could keep our inner wings crippled and stunted in life.  However, if we look at the butterfly, which is symbolic of resurrection and renewal,  the possibility arises that we are able to emerge out of such brokenness into beauty and power.  It is about transformation and new life.  Our Lord is in the business of renewal, which is a perpetual force available to us as we live in the shadow of His wings. 

Psalms 36:7 states "God, your love is so precious!  You protect people in the shadow of your wings".  In light of that scripture, our Father of Lights is our wholeness... He covers our damaged wings in His completeness and fills in the broken places, enabling us to fly and continue on in our journey through life.

The worship band, Hillsong United, have lyrics to the song, "Shadow of His Wings", which gives spiritual perspective in the changeless assurance of God's covering over our brokenness into His wholeness.
My spirit rests in You
You're all I know
Embrace and touch me
Like a child.
I'm safe in You
 You're my shelter through it all
You're my refuge and my strength
Lord I hide in the shadow of Your wings.
 My Lord, You're faithful
You supply all good things
You know completely
All my thoughts
My deepest needs.
Dearest Father of Lights, as Creator and Guide, may You restore and renew what You have created and keep safe what You have restored and renewed.   This beautiful film clip of a butterfly emerging from a cocoon is a witness to God's creativity in nature and a reminder that nothing is beyond His redemption of wholeness. 

The above video presentation is by Lua, wonderfully expressed to the instrumental of "Shadow of His Wings".  I hope that you will take time out to watch this extraordinary visual imaging.  
You can also link to it at:

Join me next Monday at the Turn-Up Patch....