I’ve always loved flowers. A lot of people do, but most only think of them when they need a gift or when tending their gardens. But have you ever considered that flowers are a gift from God? The greatest detective of all time, Sherlock Holmes, who rarely missed a clue, noticed this about flowers: “Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its color are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers” (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes).
And what a sweet little extra they are. The variety and complexity of flowers are astounding. But they are more than embellishments and extras to life. Dallas Willard said they point us to grace: “Beauty is, above all, a manifestation of grace, of abundance and generosity. It’s the reason why God placed flowers on the earth: to have little voices calling to us constantly about grace” (Renewing the Christian Mind: Essays, Interviews and Talks).
I know this is true when I drive, or rather inch along, on the California freeways. The wild sunflowers I see on the side of the road when I and a few thousand of my fellow drivers are stopped in a traffic jam lift my spirit and remind me of his grace. I hear God saying in their beautiful petals that he is good, kind and loving, even amid the hardships of life. Grace, like flowers, are everywhere, if we will open our eyes to see and appreciate.