Gerbera daisies are my favorite flower. Their big blooms and vibrant colors always seem to draw me in and make me smile. Generally, I purchase the blooms already cut in the floral department of my local grocery store. The other day, however, after a Home Depot run with their dad, my kids brought me home two potted Gerbera daisies. They handed them to me and I was struck by something I had never noticed or realized before. Gerbera daisies are not pretty plants. Truth be told, they are fairly ugly. Their leaves resemble something much closer to a weed than a flower. They are jagged and rough, a stark contrast to the soft smooth flowers they surround. Only when the stunning, captivating blooms open is the true beauty of the plant revealed. And it’s easy to miss. If you catch a plant too early, before it’s had a chance to unveil itself, you might easily mistake it for a much lesser flora.
Lately, I have felt strangely like a Gerbera daisy plant. Over the past couple days, there have been some in my life that have judged me by my leaves. They have seen little that is redeemable or lovable in me and have simply dismissed me. They have called me ugly and accused me of being hard and rough. To say the least, it is extremely painful. As I stand listening to the words used to describe me, I want to scream, to shout, to state my case loudly and clearly. “You aren’t looking close enough! You aren’t seeing all of me. You are missing the very best parts.” And I want to beg them, plead with them, convince them to wait. If they would only hold their judgment and wait patiently they would see that there is vibrancy beyond the baseness, there is softness amidst the roughness and there is beauty despite the ugliness.
I think one of the richest, most affirming passages in all of scripture is Psalm 139. From first verse to last it is full of promises and glimpses highlighting the glorious intimacy between God the Father and His creation. And sandwiched in the middle of that chapter is verse 14. “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” As I read this verse today, my heart swelled with hope while my eyes welled with tears. I dug a little deeper in hopes of finding further meaning. It was revealed in the word “wonderfully”. One of the possible translations of the Hebrew word for “wonderfully” is “show marvelous”. As I read those two words, it stopped me in my tracks. “Show marvelous”; or show extraordinary or splendid according to Webster’s dictionary. And again I was reminded of the daisy. Despite it’s ugly leaves, if you wait patiently and give it a chance, it will most definitely show itself to be marvelous. If you look past the unappealing mess that encircles the heart of the plant, you will be struck by just how marvelous it is. And I am hopeful that the same is true of me. I am hopeful that just as God shows the Gerbera daisy to be marvelous and splendid, He will show me to be the same. That amidst all the unsightly tangles surrounding me, He will complete me, reveal me and show me marvelous.
I am anxious for that day. I am anxious for the moment when those around me will see a marvelous work rather than a mess. I’m afraid it may be a ways off. Unfortunately, my blooming season is probably in the distant future. Most of what comprises me now is far from splendid or extraordinary. But I find great comfort in the hope and the promise. I find such delight and grace in the fact that my Creator sees what is marvelous in me and finds me worthy. And for today, that is enough. Today I will do my best to disregard the comments and judgments directed at my awkward growth. And I will quietly prompt those around me and encourage them to wait for my blooms. To be patient and look more closely. To see me through God’s eyes and perhaps they will get a glimpse of the marvelous that is waiting to unveil itself.