Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith? Luke 12:27-28, NKJV
A few Saturdays ago, a dear friend stopped by my apartment to drop off some belated birthday and Christmas gifts. We stood outside, lovingly socially distanced, and enjoying the few moments together catching up quickly before we froze to death. As I entered my cozy little apartment, and she drove away, I cried. I hadn’t realized how much I missed being around her.
This friend is one who I’ve felt safe to be myself around. There has never been any need to filter because she knows my heart– even during my often lengthy rants about how frustrated I am with things she allows me to share without feeling ashamed. There’s no need to hide. I can be unapologetically me and know I would still be loved. There’s never any side eyes or looks of concern. She loves me and that’s that. Questions, frustrations and all!
It’s comforting and freeing to be loved like that. Not everyone can do that. At least not all of the time….myself included.
One of the things about my particular faith journey is how lonely it has been, at times. There were/are people in the church who don’t look like me, talk like me, think like me. They don’t ask the questions I do or understand my frustrations. I look(ed) rebellious or emotional or downright “off track” to some and I began to wonder what the hell was wrong with me. Why don’t I fit in? Why can’t I just be like everyone else here? Fall into formation, Holly.
But that’s not my story. And not how I was created. I was made to be me. Holly. Some days I remember this and celebrate it.
Today, I was reminded of this Truth while reading Anne Lamott’s new book Dusk Night Dawn. Anyone familiar with Anne and her writings would know she doesn’t exactly fit the stereotypical Christian mold and maybe that’s why I’ve enjoyed her writings all these years. She’s refreshing in that she shows her scars and struggles and doesn’t always talk about them in past tense. Many of her faith lessons come through conversations with friends, observations in nature or everyday circumstances in her very ordinary life which, if you’ve read my blog before would know, we have that in common!
In her new book, she mentions a conversation she has with her husband regarding the “lilies of the field” mentioned in Scripture. Many people, myself included, would picture the pure, tall calla lily when in fact the flowers being referenced (and found in the fields of Jerusalem and surrounding areas) are the crown anemone.
Anemones come in a variety of beautiful, bright colors. They grow wild and free in the fields splashing color along nature’s canvas. For me, they are a reminder of who God made me to be– clothed in my own kind of bright, wild glory. Wild flowers do not compete with the flower next to them but simply share their distinct brand of beauty, wisdom and confidence.
I know as Christians we are in this constant process of becoming more and more like Jesus, but it would be a shame that this process would strip us of the uniqueness imprinted on us when He created us. Hand-crafted in fact. We were not made in some heavenly factory spit out on a conveyor belt, but affectionately made in His multi-faceted image. Each one of us displaying a part of Him that He longed the world to see.
If I’m too busy trying to look or sound like someone else than the world is missing out on seeing an aspect of God meant to be seen and enjoyed.
If you haven’t heard it lately I want YOU to know that you are seen and enjoyed in all of your wild beauty. I pray as you read these words a confidence would be planted in the soul of your heart and that the love of God would water it. And as His love pours into you you would grow into everything He made you to be– without fear or shame or comparison.