By Kathleen Brown
In the late afternoon, the flower’s shadow was etched dark and bold on the gray surface of the rock. The shadow was shaped something like a hand, with eight or ten long fingers resting heavy on the stone – palming it, almost, as a basketball.
The base of the granite boulder was buried beneath hard, dry soil, but the face it turned to the sun was still an impressive size, rising above the brown grass solid and square like a low table. The flower, on the other hand, was tall, but dainty. Stretching up from a spray of narrow green leaves, the slimmest of stems leaned over the edge of the boulder, like an impossibly elegant crane rising over a construction site. At the tip of the stem was the lavender-pink bloom. Eight or ten thread-thin stalks burst out from the center, then each bent down under the delicate weight of a tiny bell-shaped droplet of petals. Just a common Colorado wildflower, with the humble name, “Nodding Onion”, perfectly stunning in its graceful beauty, and miraculously strong in shadow. How did this one little flower come to loom so large in the afternoon light, while others of its kind barely raised their starburst heads above the tall grass? Alignment with the sun; this Nodding Onion was aligned perfectly between the granite boulder and the full sun shining down on the high mountain meadow. So the shadow of the little flower was strong, literally larger than life, as it lay across the boulder.
I think back on that scene often and tell myself I could do worse than be a Nodding Onion in God’s meadow. Aligned with Him, reaching up for His light, I can have an impact greater than my own capabilities would allow. When I stop trying to overpower the grass and weeds crowding my life and simply place myself in the brilliance of His grace, my weakness actually becomes an asset. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9 NIV) His glory shining down on me is all my strength.
Lord, please remind me that it is never by my own might but only by Your grace and power that I accomplish the work You place in my hands. Let me simply take my place in the beauty of all You created. Let me stand as You made me. Let me serve as You direct me that I might find confidence Your light will shine on my efforts and make them glow with Your love, Your blessing. Therein lies my power, my peace.