Consider the lilies.

1509257_10153317837797008_796073388637867216_nThere’s an iris outside my window, six feet away from the iris in my eye. Actually, there are four stems, with several buds and blossoms on each. They are iris color. Purplish, violetish, iris.

Just to my right, their left, are coral bells. They are coral color. Between us, close to the screen, are the tiny buds of day lilies. They will explode with orange.

Jesus was talking to the disciples one day, making a point about how worry doesn’t provide anything, and how God does provide. “Observe how the flowers of the field grow,” he says. And then he talks about how beautiful they are without the capacity to choose their clothing. All the intention for their color comes from outside them, from God.

We read it as an argument, a metaphor moving toward a point. Our commitment to skimming, our consumption of words, gives us this push. as does our labeling these words as part of the Sermon on the Mount. A sermon is an argument more than a reflection. A cognitive process. A driving toward a point.

But if we were listening to these words, on a hillside, how quickly would Jesus move from the invitation to observe to the point? Isn’t it possible that he was inviting the listeners to stop and observe? And that he left time? 

“Observe how the flowers of the field grow,” he said. And sat for awhile in silence. Observing. Noticing the flowers that were around. And perhaps, for the members of his audience who were completely consumed by worry about what to wear and what to eat, this was the first time they had been invited to observe. To notice. To understand that when we spend less time worrying we have more time to observe. The iris. Right outside the window.

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

2 thoughts on “Consider the lilies.

  1. A great reminder that Jesus is a person rather than a collection of ideas. He wants us to converse with Him, not study or stalk Him. Beautiful word picture to go with a beautiful picture.

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  2. Thank you for pointing out the necessity to take time to observe. Many times, when we read Scripture, we forget the human, time-dwelling aspects. More than often, as we read, we assume one word flows into the next without a pause. This is a good example to “consider.”

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