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Monday, July 4, 2011

LARKSPURS AND LILIES

Two flowers—the larkspur and the water lily—are the birth flower of people born in July. And both flowers remind me of Jesus. (See my June post, Like a Rose, for the June birth flower.)

The Larkspur is a glorious, stalked flower lined with brilliant blossoms in white, to pink, blue, and violet. 

So how does this remind me of Jesus? In four ways:


1. The shape of the blossom is a 5-pointed star. The star shape reminds us of the star that pointed the way to Bethelehem for the wise men and the shepherds. The star symbol can still point us to Jesus.   

2. The lark in literature is often portrayed as singing hymns and prayers at the gate of heaven. And as it announces the new day, the lark symbolizes hope made new. While most birds can only sing while perched, a lark can also sing while flying. This ability reminds us to find joy in everything we do and that we find our true joy and hope in Jesus.  

3. In Near Eastern mythology, the lark is associated with the spirit of wheat. In real life, the lark helps rid wheat fields of destructive pests. The lark has become a symbol for Christ who is “the living bread which came down from heaven” (John 6:51). It is through Jesus that our destructive sins are forgiven.

4. In Genesis 3:15 God told Adam and Eve: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” The larkspur is sometimes called the lark’s claw or lark’s heel. A subtle reference to Jesus’ heel and as he crushed Satan?

“Okay,” you say, “but what about the water lily? You’re not gonna tell me the water lily is like Jesus just because regular lilies are a common Easter flower, are you?”

No. I have other reasons why water lilies remind me of Jesus.  

1. Jesus is the living water. Who but God would have created a flower that grows in water? There are cactus flowers that grow in sand. There are egret flowers that grow in bogs. There are flowers that grow in rock crevices, mulch, fungus and rich soil. But water? Only the God of the universe—with the living water in mind—could think of that.

2. The water lily is also known as the lotus. It is symbolic in many cultures of sacred enlightenment. Think meditation and the practice in yoga of meditating on a lotus blossoming open. Now think Jesus. Our true sacred enlightenment. 

3. To the ancient Egyptians, the lotus symbolized the sun and rebirth. Jesus is not the sun; but the Son. And He came to make us born again and to assure us that we will live with him in eternity.

4. Buddhists consider the water lily a symbol of purity and divine birth. Hello, Jesus.

Whether you are born in July or not; whether you prefer the larkspur or the water lily as the “official” birth flower of July—it’s all good. It’s all beautiful and it can all point us toward Jesus.

Happy birthday to everyone born in July.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for the variety and beauty you created when you created this world. Thank you that you created things around us to remind us of Jesus. Open our eyes and help us see more of your glory. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Are you a July baby? Which flower do you prefer as your birth flower? Why?

3 comments:

Debra Ann Elliott said...

Beautiful. I enjoyed reading this. Thank you for stopping by.

chris said...

Very cool Carol, I really enjoyed reading this one, how you developed the story of larkspur and water lillies! It reminds me of His beauty that abounds around us... if only we'll take the time to "stop and smell the roses"

From Carol's Quill said...

Thanks Debra and Chris. God and His beauty are everywhere!