Many of us work hard in our gardens, designing, digging, dedicating our spare time to creating a beautiful space to enjoy and share with others. If you’re like me, you go to a nursery and wander along the rows of starter plants, checking to see which plants will thrive in the soil composition in our backyard. Does this plant need direct sunlight or shade? A little of both? Dry or moist soil? Added nutrients? What kind? How big will the plant grow? Will it need pruning?
It’s a lot of work (and fun) to be a gardener, even when you’re not blessed with a green thumb and spend a lot of time praying what you put in the ground will survive.
Then I take a drive and see what God does. The plantings along fields and streams, along the bluffs overlooking the Pacific, the Sierras, and all that gorgeous landscaping by the Master Gardener! From the tiniest mushroom to the tallest redwood, everything perfectly laid out and healthy. And the colors! God can put them all together without having any clashing. Take Carrizo Plain National Monument, far from the usual beaten path.
When Roman and Grace take their road trip in The Masterpiece, Grace is awed by the beauty of this place where a spectacular once-a-year display of God’s handiwork occurs. Yellow coreopsis, golden-yellow tidytips, purple phacelia, golden poppies, sky-blue lupines, lavender tomcat clover, red-tufted vetch, purple and yellow Padre’s shooting stars splash colors across the hillsides. Simple plants, weeds, really, many of which would be plucked out of a cultivated garden and tossed on a compost pile. What is a weed, other than a wild plant growing where it is not wanted and in competition with cultivated plants handpicked by people with biases and prejudices?
Grace tells Roman, the artist, to look at what God does with weeds. God cultivates them and shows their beauty.
How many of us are like weeds? Feeling unwanted and in competition for a little space to call our own. God sees something beautiful in each of us, something worthwhile, something in need of tender care, something He designed for a special place and special purpose in the world He created. We are like the lilies of the field, called forth and clothed in splendor by—and for—our Artist God and King.