What can plants teach us?

Spiritual lessons in plantsThe closer we look at the structure of even ‘simple’ plants the more we can begin to see of the way each petal or leaf is formed in a particular shape, has colours, layers and textures which suit it perfectly. Florists work with this variety to create their arrangements; a garden designer applies their knowledge on a different scale but with an understanding of how the complete effect will look.

Christ spoke about the lily and highlighted the splendid intricacies we overlook so frequently, but his message reaches deeper and he reminded people that they can trust God to know their needs and provide for them, rather than worrying themselves unnecessarily.

The ‘green shoots of recovery’ may be the sort of phrase that crops up on the news bulletins but that idea of things having to start small and vulnerable before maturing and getting properly established is a sound principle. It applies to our spiritual growth, our journey towards better states as the ‘good’ habits we desire and work towards become more and more settled in our life and routine.

The idea of our life as a place where things grow and flourish (both ‘good’ and ‘bad’) is something we tend to find manageable as an idea. Have you ever considered the detail of each little part, of how beautiful and intricate aspects of our heavenly life really can be?

We can see and respond to the kindness and thoughtfulness of someone else – the beauty of that little green shoot in their life has enhanced our day too. Maybe we have been helped by something as fleeting as a smile or a kind word, perhaps the gift of someone’s time and attention has been a benefit to our situation today?

These apparently small and everyday generosities have more of an impact than we often realise. Perhaps it does us good to take time and really think about the things we are growing in the fertile ground that is our own life. The simplest of heavenly things bring a growing hint of the inner development of angelic beauty and disposition which can’t be bought.  Likewise, no amount of money or fine clothes can disguise a life without some loveliness at its heart.

The Bible continually refers to the natural world in ways that can lead us into more spiritual considerations; everyday concepts around growth of crops can easily link us to more profound levels of thought as we understand the implications of the ‘good’ wheat and the ‘bad’ weeds and thorns which spoil the crop for example.

Consider the lilies, how they grow, they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these..………..Luke 12:27

Seeing the spiritual lilies in bloom, the little but exquisitely beautiful results of what is grounded in love, really make a difference to life and enhances the world for us all.

Based on material by Christine Bank

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