Lillies of the Field

I can count the starts above me until I can count no more and they continue on like light witnesses to everything below them. I read the passage in Matthew 6:25-34 on the lilies of the field and as I contemplate, I become like a lilly. My roots dig deep into the soil anchoring me, the soil giving me strength, foundation, food and water and I realize the Earth is God, for it is in Him we draw our life and He is everywhere and everything. I contemplate my roots growing deep down and down and then up, breaking through the surface of the Earth. As I reach to turn my face toward the sun, to feel its warm and its light I realize, the Sun is God too. It is from Him we get our life warmth and light. As I turn to face Him, to smile upon Him, I say “what now?” And He whispers, “Grow!”

My thoughts then turned to Jesus and the disciples on the boat in rough seas. He stretched out and calmed the sea because He is the sea! He is the water, He is deep and wide and mysterious. We float on the water, just on the surface sometimes not very deep, but we too are the water because we are a part of Him, that is why we shouldn’t be afraid.

I want a simple mind, one that lives as a little lilly digging my roots deep in the ground like a twisting tendril while reaching up toward the light. I think the following poem by Teilhard de Chardin reflects on living life as a lilly of the field.

Patient Trust

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.

—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ
excerpted from Hearts on Fire



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