Saturday, May 7, 2011

Rethinking the Hardy Dandelion

A thriving metaphor for God’s love.

“Why then did God create a world? God created the world for something like the same reason that we find it hard to keep a secret! Good things are hard to keep…The rose is good, and tells its secret in perfume. The sun is good, and tells its secret in light and heat. Man is good, and tells the secret of his goodness in the language of thought. But God is infinitely good and therefore infinitely loving. Why therefore could not He by a free impulsion of His love let love overflow and bring new worlds into being? God could not keep, as it were, the secret of His love, and the telling of it was creation.” 1

~Fulton J. Sheen

Flowers seem to get more beautiful as I get older. Imagine being there to witness the moment when God lovingly created all the many flowers, in all their striking colors, varieties, and combinations. Yellow daffodils. The red rose. A white lily. Pink impatiens. A purple iris. Then, in His infinite generosity, he added white, yellow, and coral varieties to the rose, and pink and yellow to the lily. Impatiens transformed by the Divine brushstroke to purple, white, and red. During spring in Michigan, the trees and bushes erupt in flowers of red, pink, coral, and snow white. The sight and the smells are heavenly.

Where I live, my wonderful neighbors do a great job creating beautiful flower gardens in their yards that emanate extraordinary color. They take great care and work hard so their lawns are well manicured, green, and beautiful. While my flower gardens are in fine shape, my lawn is different from all the others. For a short time every spring, I have the only yard that is dotted with a multitude of yellow flowers. Truthfully they are dandelions, and dandelions are weeds.

I am a huge fan of dandelions, for they are the perfect metaphor for God’s love. Even the name is a metaphor for God. The powerful lion is king of the jungle. God is King of all Kings. The dandelion is one powerful plant, while God is one powerful Creator. We humans do not always place great value on the dandelion and work hard to get rid of them, but the plant keeps emerging year after year. Sometimes we do this with God when we do not place enough value on our relationship with Him, but He keeps up His loving pursuit of us. Oh the Majesty, if only we would notice! The dandelion can never be fully contained and is very resilient, just like God’s love.

If dandelions could somehow be contained, I would create lovely gardens all over my yard in different patterns of bright yellow. That is impossible, so instead of spreading dandelions all over my community, I will spread the love of God which is even more beautiful. I will create gardens full of joy, inspiration, and kindness, bordered with gladness, compassion, and mercy. Love will make the gardens spectacular, and the seeds will spread with every gesture, every word, every good intention, every good deed that comes to fruition, and will create more stunning gardens every place I go. 2
1. Fulton J. Sheen, The Divine Romance (New York: Alba House, 1996), p. 31-32.
2. Michele Elena Bondi, God Moments: Stories That Inspire, Moments to Remember (Rochester, MI: Joseph Karl Publishing, 2009), Chapter 2.