Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Innermost Part

I’d photographed a small pot of tulips every other day or so for more than a week. 

I’d snapped picture after picture of them when they were tightly encased buds and when they were in full bloom. 

Those stages were a delight to my eyes, but I didn’t like the looks of the dying blooms. So…one day I thought, I’m going to throw them away. They’re way past their prime. 

I carried the pot from the sunroom/office to a counter near an outside door, intending to take the pot to the trash on my next trip outside. But when I took a closer look at their centers, I thought, Oooooh, they’re still beautiful.

Indeed, that part of them—the innermost part—had changed very little, though the petals were showing multiple signs of dying—curling, drying, shriveling, discoloring, drooping….

Upon realizing there was a “lesson” to be learned from the dying blooms, I returned the pot to the sunroom for more photographs. As I did so, I thought, What’s going on with these tulips is true of human life, too. In our youth and even middle age, we are beautiful and admired. But as the dying process takes increasingly heavy tolls on us, little remains of the vibrant person we once were—except for the innermost part! That stays alive and beautiful far longer than the more “showy” parts of us.

Therefore, Dear Reader, despite what’s happening on the outside of us, may we say, as did Horatio G. Spafford (1873), “It is well with my soul,” with that innermost part of us. Even when our physical strength wanes and our outward beauty diminishes, may we say, as did David in Psalm 57:7, ESV:
My heart is steadfast, O God,
my heart is steadfast!
I will sing and make melody!

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