On the north side of our church property you will find a wall. I don’t really understand the wall – it doesn’t span our whole northern property line, it doesn’t even fully span the office building that I assume built it. And it has a break in it to allow people to walk through. Maybe one of you all can explain it to me.
Currently, you can’t even see the wall. We have a company renting parking spaces that is doing infrastructure work for the city, and they have fenced it all off. But you can walk back there if you insist on verifying what I’m sharing here.
From our side of the wall, we have a very nicely landscaped parking lot. Lots of trees and bushes make the parking area look like a park. On the other side of the wall on the other hand, is a dumpster, the end of their parking deck, and the little walkway to get to our property. It’s not junky necessarily, but just a non-descript, least picturesque piece of their property. Nobody really goes there.
Which is why it struck me as odd yesterday when I walked through there, just to find a lovely, blooming
orchid. With four flowers in full bloom lined up sequentially, this purple hanging plant blared with contrast the beauty of these bright flowers against the backdrop of a dumpster and a bunch of concrete. Who put it there? And why? Why waste such a beautiful flower where no one sees it?
That happens you know. There is a lot of beauty that goes unappreciated. Or at least apparently so. I think of the Washington Monument, where it says “Laus Deo” on the famous aluminum cap. Can anybody see it? To whom does it proclaim “Praise be to God?” Well…
In Costa Rica there is a very boring, slow ride through the canopy of the rain forest. You imagine yourself riding up with the toucans and hovering over monkeys and wild cats. But you know what? They all hightail it out of there when they hear the whir of the cables (and the loud tourists). But occasionally, way up there, you might see a magnificent beautiful flower, sunning itself at the very top of the tree line. What a waste of a beautiful flower! Who will see it? Who will appreciate its beauty? Well…
Every day there’s a nondescript woman who leaves a little food for the homeless. And a guy who picks up trash around the places where the homeless hang out. Who sees them? Who appreciates their small acts of kindness? Well…
That kind thing you did yesterday for somebody? Nobody saw you, nobody thanked you. Why did you do it? Who noticed? Well…
God did. And God finds pleasure and delight in the random acts of kindness. He finds himself smiling at the flower of His own creation reaching out from the top of the trees. He is perpetually praised by an inscription on a famous monument that only He can read.
And me? I had the blessing of appreciating the beauty of an orchid, stuck in an ugly corner of a parking lot, a place where God can see it, and you too if you take a minute to find it. Beauty is that way.
Back to work,
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. Revelation 4:11 KJV