Each summer, I plant zinnia seeds harvested from the previous year’s planting. Butterflies and hummingbirds swarm the tops of the flowers, seeking the sweet nectar presented in little 5-pointed yellow flasks. Goldfinches pluck petals while clinging to the stems just under the flowers; treats in the form of seeds present themselves at the base of each petal. Small piles of rejected petals collect on the leaves as evidence of a goldfinch satisfying his hunger.
In June, the zinnia flowers stand tall, proudly displaying their beauty for all to notice. Each flower appears to be trying to outdo the nearby flowers as it reaches to grow taller to grab more of the sunlight. I notice the ones at the top with the brightest colors and textures and take pictures so that I can reflect on the beauty on another day. This superficial assessment of which flowers are beautiful changed when I noticed this flower today.
This is a flower that has given what it had to offer as good fruit to others. This is a flower that has been battered by suffering as it learned to let go of its proud display. This is a flower that has more to offer but may go unnoticed due to the tempting distractions that call nearby. However, it’s Maker knows what’s inside, and it is pleasing in His eyes.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7