Consider the Lillies

by Hilary Horn

By Andy Wade

That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? … Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you.  — Jesus       

Matthew 6:25-34 NLT

Photo by Andy Wade

Look at the field lilies. Stop, really look at them. Do you see them in their beauty? Can you see beyond their beauty? Like us, they are conceived in darkness. A bulb divided, nurtured by the rich humus of earth. Before their radiant display of beauty and life, they grow, underground, hidden from our eyes. 

Consider the lilies. We are not so different.

As their supple green shoots pierce the dark womb of their birth, they are freely nurtured by sun and soil as they drink deeply of refreshing rains. Although now visible, their color and expression are still mostly hidden from our eyes. But the lily knows and in its own time will unfold its full beauty for all to see. And when that happens, ah, this is what we’ve waited for. This, we think, is the point of the lily. 

As the first colorful petals arch back, we begin to see the outward expression of the lily’s inward beauty. Those delicate flowers remind us of both the Creator’s complexity and simplicity as the artist extraordinaire. This simple flower nurtures joy in those captivated by its radiance as they are dazzled by fragrance and foliage.

Consider the lilies. We are not so different.

Tempted to capture the lily’s allure, we may want to pluck it, take it home and put it in a vase. Yet taking the lily bloom hostage will only hasten its death. This beauty is nurtured and sustained by all that surrounds it. Isolated from its community, the blossom will not last long. Even more, isolated from creation the lily is cut off from its gift to community. Its beauty has a purpose beyond aesthetics. Nurtured by its surroundings, the lily offers its nectar to bees and bugs. Even under earth’s surface, her roots reach out and mingle with the roots of neighboring plants. A rich network of mushroom mycelium intertwines, exchanging nutrients for sugar. The lily is so much more than just a blossom.

Consider the lilies. We are not so different.

Photo by Andy Wade

And what about death? It’s tempting to consider the lily’s end to be when it begins to fade and its fragrance and color cease to tickle our senses. It’s easy to define the life of the lily by the characteristics we prize most from it. But the life of the lily is not simply one thing. As we’ve commodified nature’s beauty, we’ve robbed it of life’s fullness. As its leaves wrinkle and brown and begin to drop to the forest floor, the lily continues to nurture the lives around it. There is richness in the experience of those aging leaves. Perhaps not as young and vibrant as they once were, they are still rich with nourishing goodness. Too quickly we devalue and toss aside as irrelevant those that still have so much to offer. 

Consider the lilies. We are not so different. 

Neither sowing or reaping, they are still so crucial to the balance of life around them. Created and placed in community for community, rooted in rich, abundant soil teeming with life, they have all that they need to flourish. Whether encased in earth-embryo, emerging into a new expression of life, standing tall and radiant for eyes to behold, or fading and falling to re-enrich the soil from which they came – all things in their season and each season a holy gift.

Consider the lilies. We are not so different. 

Can we not anticipate Creator’s same love and attention to each season of our lives? 

Have we not also been nurtured in the rich soil of community and creation? 

Is not our value far greater than one single season of life?

Consider the lilies of the field. Stop. Take time. Allow the wonders of the lily to fully bloom in your imagination. Let the lily take root and grow.

You may also like


Alicia February 27, 2020 - 9:16 am

Thanks Andy for this reminder that we are all precious! Something I learned about the field lily is that they won’t flower again after we pick the flower. The lily is a little treasure we can only admire in its own natural habitat.

Herbert B Orr February 27, 2020 - 11:39 am

God created plants with seeds so that they can continue to be produced year after year. Genesis 1 v 29.
Jesus said in Mark 4 v 29 about wheat plants that yields grain which are seeds to make bread & some laid aside to
plant next season. Read Isaiah 55 vs 8-11.
After this Mark writes what Jesus said about the mustard seed that would would produce a plant: Genesis 1 v 29.
So, Jesus means that with sunshine & rain it will do what God planned it to do. Each seed has a blueprint for it to
produce I believe that Jesus means for us to have a calling : a blue print to fulfill it. He also said that if obstacles entered
our lives to prevent us from doing our calling; We can ask that it be removed.
For me, my blueprint was to become a medical missionary. Obstacle #1: Lack of finances. result: God gave me a scholarship of $2800.00 to go to College. (This was before scholarships like this was given).
#2: A loan by my Foreign Mission Board that I would not have to repay if I was chosen to do it.
#3 It was very hard to learn all that I needed to learn to get my medical degree.
The result: I spent 38 yrs. fulfilling my blueprint.

Leave a Comment