Three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms were on one branch, three on the next branch and the same for all six branches extending from the lampstand. And on the lampstand were four cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms.
- Exodus 37:19-20
“Mortals, born of woman,
are of few days and full of trouble.
They spring up like flowers and wither away;
like fleeting shadows, they do not endure.
- Job 14:1-2
See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.
- Song of Solomon 2:11-12
Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine
and champions at mixing drinks,
who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
but deny justice to the innocent.
Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw
and as dry grass sinks down in the flames,
so their roots will decay
and their flowers blow away like dust;
for they have rejected the law of the Lord Almighty
and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel.
- Isaiah 5:22-24
The Scriptures, the first describing the Lampstand for the Tabernacle, all talk of flowers. I could have added the verse in James 1 about how the rich are like the flower, who wither and die. But I took the time to take pictures of flowers that I rarely see.
There used to be an apple tree in our backyard, long before we moved there. The landlady cut it down soon after her father had died. She did not want the neighborhood children climbing and falling from the tree. At least, I think that is what she said. Around the base of what was the trunk of the tree, grape hyacinths appear each Spring. It is only one clump and a few individual bulbs that make it still resemble a circle now. But I had not seen them in several years.
You see, our neighbor is a nice guy. He mows our lawn now that I am “retired.” But this year, he has not mowed the lawn while mowing his own for about 5-6 times. I never voiced my displeasure that he would mow before the grape hyacinths had bloomed, but he is obsessive about lawn care. I was shocked when we left for the Maundy Thursday service and saw that the grape hyacinths were in bloom.
I pulled out the cellphone and started taking photos. I had no idea that I would ever have another chance to see them. Then, I saw the wild violets in bloom. I mashed the two photos together above.
I was so interested in photographing the beautiful flowers that I missed the point.
My wife, just having had kidney dialysis that morning, just being one week after getting discharged from the hospital for dangerously low blood count, and still far below normal… She had a different perspective.
She said, “Ah, the grape hyacinths and the violets! Our backyard is adorned in purple. It’s a royal purple. It must mean that the King is Coming.”
Thank you, Gaither Vocal Band, for adding the musical reminder that one day, and maybe quite soon, The King is Coming.
Thank you, my wife, for giving me perspective.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.