We don’t have a pretty garden . One day we will, but at this point our yard consists of gravel, dust and a handful of weeds. We grow herbs in a pair of old concrete sinks, and snapdragons in a rusty tin tub, but that’s pretty much it. We’re surrounded by sweeping paddocks, currently dry and brittle under the hot summer sun (and probably full of snakes…#australia).
I’d always imagined watching my children playing on a lawn surrounded by cottage gardens and cool trees. I imagined that they’d discover all sorts of tiny wonders beneath fern and flower, and delight in dappled light that filters down through the leaves above. All would be soft and gentle and like roses.
Maybe one day they’ll have these things. Right now I feel as though they have the thorns, not sweet-smelling petals. I complained as much to my husband the other day over morning tea, as we watched our 2 year old trotting to and fro outside, all boots and bucket-hat.
Rather than indulge my self-pity, he takes it and lovingly hands me back honest truth, as he always has.
“Look at her out there. She’s not wanting for anything. She might not have soft grass and tall trees, but right now this is what she knows and she sees everything as exciting and wonderful! She sees it as God made it.”
Sure enough, I look again and I can see her studying ant trails. She giggles. She picks up tiny stone after tiny stone, studies it, then puts it back. She laughs at the magpies flying over head as they fill the air with song. She treats a parrot feather as if it where a whole bird, in need of feeding. She stands still and just looks at the vastness around her, wind whipping through rustling grasses.
She stomps up the stairs and across the verandah, and holds out her grubby little hand for me to see.
A tiny dandelion, sticky with its sap and plucked too short to stand tall in a vase.
She smells it with deep, dramatic sniffing.
“Mama smell? Pretty!”
This is why Christ so loves the little children. They see the beauty in everything He has created, and rejoices in it! They see no ugliness in dust, or uselessness in weeds. They see wonder in all and they see dandelions as if they were roses. They beg us to see it too.
Our God is a God of wonder, a God of joy and of giving. He wants us to enjoy the big picture, yes, but He longs for us to dig further, seek deeper and discover the incredible mysteries He has hidden in day to day life. He smiles when you appreciate a landscape, but He laughs when you marvel at the delicateness of a bee’s wing, the intricacies of a feather, the simpleness of patterns in the dirt. He gives us beauty and wonder wherever we are, no matter our surroundings. If He made it, then there is beauty in it, we have but to open our eyes to see it.
So, one day we’ll have a pretty garden, with grass and trees and roses, but for now we’ll marvel with joy, and praise God for pebbles and ants…and dandelions.