The Meadow

The rain kissed leaves smiled under the sun as rays of light peaked through the trees. Dew from the previous night’s rain slid off knobby branches as the woods awoke and stretched toward the climbing sun for warmth. An open meadow yawned as it greeted the bordering woods. Long grass swayed under the sweeping sky as the colors of morning dawned.

Tiny steps soon mingled with the sound of a slight breeze. Dainty bare feet carried her as she drank in the wild air. Fair wavy curls followed behind her as long grass tickled the edge of her fingertips. Beads clinked around her neck and bounced against the front of her strawberry red dress.

As the sun whispered of spring, the little girl leapt and twirled until finally she collapsed to lie in the bed of wild flowers. Lying on her back she sighed peacefully.  

Rolling onto her stomach, a smile zipped across her face as she plucked up a daisy by the stem. She admired the white pedals. Pulling the blossom to her nose she breathed it in.

She reached for a few more flowers and carefully began to twist the stems into a chain that formed a fresh floral crown. The crown was lush and full of white, mustard, and violet flowers that exuded the perfume of springtime.

The newly crowned princess skipped wild and free through the meadow, stopping periodically to pluck a new wildflower. She gathered a bouquet for her mother.

The breeze carried a faint voice across the meadow. Bright eyes looked up in response, and like a soaring eagle the little girl was off to meet her mother who was standing at the edge of the field.

Soon a graceful hand slipped into her mother’s as her little voice said, “These are for you!” Smiling, the mom pulled the wildflower bouquet up to her nose. “They are beautiful. Thank you sweetheart.”

Pausing, the little girl asked, “Mommy, can we plant them?”

“Oh, no” The mother smiled and nearly laughed, “You have to plant seeds, not flowers. We’ll keep these at home in a special vase.”

As the pair began to walk down a dusty road, a slight frown inched across the young girl’s face. Seeing her hesitation, the mom asked, “Won’t these look beautiful in our home? We’ll keep them until they’ve wilted,” she vowed. “They will decorate our table wonderfully.”

She envisioned the flowers hearing conversations around the dinner table, joining them for an upcoming birthday, and bringing the life of spring into the kitchen.

The daughter smiled, but only because of the idea of planting the flowers.

“You see,” the mother said with instruction, “Seeds go into the ground.”

Looking into her daughter’s blue eyes she smiled. “Do you want to hear a secret?”

Wide eyed the girl looked up. “The truth is that a sprouting seed must sacrifice itself–some would even say die–so that it can become a new plant.”

“It dies?” questioned the daughter.

“Yes! It dies so that little flowers can be born and grow up.”  

The mother’s feet scuffed across the threshold where the dusty lane met brick pavement. Black iron gates stood with arms  extended, inviting her in.

Confused, the mother looked down at her daughter.

“This is where I am supposed to plant my flowers mommy.”

Scuffing past the iron gates the mother’s arms felt weighted down. Entering, her eyes scanned the landscape. Stones. Names. Memorials.

In the graveyard the mother stood alone holding the flowers marked with purple, white, and yellow. The bricks under her feet gave way to a field of grass dotted with stones.

A single tear rolled down her left cheek as she collapsed to her knees. Brushing her dark hair out of her eyes she gazed at the gravestone that held her daughter’s name.

Lily.  

Voice quivering, she spoke to her daughter, “You were my flower borrowed from God’s garden.” She laid down the wildflowers she picked in the meadow where her daughter used to play. “I should have known He could pluck you up whenever he wanted to.” Pressing her hands against her knees she looked up into the sky as pain trickled down her cheeks. “He took you before you were even wilted.”

A noise arose from deep within her. The kind that only comes from a broken heart. Wiping her eyes she sniffed. “But I am so glad that I got to be your mommy.”

The truth is, “You were right. You were never mine to keep. You existed outside of me, and I did not create you. You were meant to be planted.”

“And though I feel like a part of me has been lost, I know that this is love. For I know a love I had not before. I want Someone Else more than you. And it is my joy that you have Him even now.”

Pulling her head down the mother looked at the stone that took her daughter’s place.  

Gathering her courage she wept. “Here in this place. My heart will rise up and say I count everything loss compared to knowing Christ. I cannot mistake this natural love for a heavenly love. He is good.

And while I want you to be mine I know that He loves you and that He loves me. And He is the seed who died to bring about our salvation. And now you are planted in His house. I bet you are beautiful.”

 

 

 

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