Lessons from a passion flower

I don’t know whether it is that Autumn time of the year, but I have found myself recently looking more closely at the plants around me and the amazing detail and colours of the leaves and flowers.  The other day it was a passion fruit vine that caught my eye.  I have wondered on and off why we have the passion flower as a symbol of Free Range Chicks and probably should’ve asked Pearl or Beth before I wrote this…!  But I have always liked it.  Firstly the passion, it is great to hear different stories from Free Range Chicks all over the country about things you are doing to make a difference for those around you.  I love that passion to see lives transformed, and the way chicks come alongside one another to offer support, encouragement and often practical help.

passion flower

Looking closely at the flower I realised again the extraordinary attention to detail in those beautifully crafted flowers, and it reminded me of Luke 12.27-32 where Jesus is teaching about God’s care for each of us.  Jesus talks about how God has created the lilies and dressed them in glory, and if God does that for a flower, how much more for us.  Sometimes we can look at ourselves and find faults rather than glory, but when I looked at that flower I didn’t judge that the petals were all different sizes, I just thought – how beautiful!  Perhaps you need to hear God say that over you as you look in the mirror? How would we begin to feel differently about ourselves if rather than listening to a fault-finding voice we heard the gasp of ‘how beautiful!’.

 

But I think what struck me most this time, was the little springy tendril waiting to reach out from the vine, to hold on tight to something else and keep the vine secure.  Those little springs are amazing, they hold on strong and yet can move and flex in the wind.  How much we need those connections with God and each other that hold us firm when life is tough.  This summer I have moved house and started a new job and have felt so grateful for family and friends who have reached out and held me, some practically with packing and unpacking, some in prayer, some with cake, some with dinner invitations, some with encouraging words.  We are designed to be in relationship, to know the love and care that God has for us, but also as people made in the image of God we are called to community, to rejoice together, and mourn together, to connect in ways that hold us firm through the ups and downs of life.passion flower 2

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