Kent and I found a hidden treasure on a favorite walk at Farrel McWhirter in Redmond a year ago May. How blind we can be to glorious things until that moment when our eyes are opened, and then we wonder how we could have failed to see!
On this particular day, the paths were wet and muddy. We circled the whole park on a perimeter trail joined to the Puget Power Trail and a private path bordering a row of horse farms.
Near the parking lot, at the outset of the walk, Kent spotted a striking orange blossom among the low shrubs and stopped to pull out his plant finder app. He identified it as Orange Honeysuckle, a native plant we’d never seen before. It had no strong stems of its own but wound haphazardly around other species. The blooms were reminiscent of Christmas lights sprinkled through the branches.
We declared Orange Honeysuckle the “plant of the day” and walked on in expectation. Although we looked eagerly among the salal, sword fern and groves of fringe cup, we found no more. Puzzled, we retraced our steps to the first patch we’d seen. Why was there only one?
Then we looked up. Strings of orange “lights” were everywhere in the middle forest canopy about 12-15 feet up! We walked very slowly towards the parking lot, with our heads tipped back, eyes to the sky, enchanted. How could we have missed this!? (Note to self – visit Farrel McWhirter in early May every year.)
Jesus said that the opulent robes of the richest king of ancient times couldn’t come close to the beauty of the lilies of the field. If he had been here in the Pacific Northwest, he could have spoken of Orange Honeysuckle.
The treasures of the forest point to the Treasure-Maker. How glorious is God who has such an imagination, such a taste for beauty, such a taste for life in immense variety. The Treasure-Maker has made me as well – one more flower of the field, springing up with a derivative glory and soon withering. Withering is hard for self-conscious flowers like you and me. But the treasure of life eternal is also in God’s heart to give to such perishable flowers. Amazing! Treasure upon treasure!
The message for me is to look up – look up from my plodding life to see treasure around me. Look up to see that in the minutiae of plodding life, there also is beauty and meaning infused by the Treasure-Maker in whom I live and move and have my being. Look up and see that all the people, like the flowers, are created with beauty and meaning, though marred by sin and withering, same as me. May God make me His partner in giving eternal life in Jesus to each one.
“For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, ‘all flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off, but the word of our Lord endures forever.’ And this is the word which was preached to you.” 1 Peter 1:24-25