I went to Fellows Riverside Gardens this past Sunday with some friends, our intention was to pray and enjoy the beauty of the surroundings. We broke off by ourselves or in couples for a while.I felt drawn to start photographing the flowers. Normally I don't spend a lot of time looking closely at flowers, but as I zoomed in on them, through my lens, I saw the uniqueness of each one...some were seemingly perfect, some were ate up with disease, some were wilted, and some were brand new, some were broken, and some were small and some were large.
As we gathered back together the discussion began. The gardens sit right on the edge of Y-town, polluted, one of the largest murder rates in the nation, the edge of this beautiful garden is right by the bustling highway. I have been reading the Beautiful Mess by Rick McKinley, and the title of that book seemed like a good way to describe where we were sitting , right in a beautiful mess. When we closed out eyes to pray, the sounds became more intense. I could hear the highway sounds, on one side, then I could hear birds chirping, and children laughing on the other side.
Beauty combined with mess. Isn't that what life is?
We like the flowers ,are a combination of perfection (patterned after Jesus) and disease,brokenness, we are wilted, small, large, new, young and old, and yet with all those factors, we create a beautiful image.
I took the picture below, along with others, and as you look at it, the first impression is beauty, color. As you look closer, (click on it to enlarge)you can see a disease ridden leaf, small flowers, large ones, dying ones, beautiful ones.
Look a little closer the next time you see a group of flowers, think about how we are like them. They were created to be beautiful, and yet need nurturing.