This Wildflower Life
by Jenn Hale
May 30, 2018
On a recent road trip, after driving past miles and miles of rocky mountainside dotted with occasional shrubs, I passed a hill covered in wildflowers. It was quite the masterpiece of color and greenery. It was untamed and messy, yet full of beauty.
No sooner had I been captured by the beauty of the wildflowers than my kids broke the magic with an argument from the back seat about who would win if Batman and Superman ran against each other for President. After casting my vote for the Batman side (because we all know Batman’s voice and shadowy demeanor would dominate in the televised debates) we arrived at our destination and I forgot about the flowers. At least until later that night . . .
The wildflowers were haunting me, in a beautiful sort of way. What was it about this image burned into my mind that made me smile again? I opened my laptop and googled “wildflowers.” I found a picture similar to the flowers I had seen on my road trip and enlarged it. But when the picture was magnified, it didn’t seem like the same image at all.
Up close, I could see there were blues up against some yellows smashed against some reds. There were oranges jetting up through pinks and purples with a few whites scattered among them. There was no rhyme nor reason and definitely no symmetry to the pattern. There were even flowers in various stages of death tucked in among the healthy ones.
As I sat looking at the magnified version, a new emotion was rising up in me—an emotion I couldn’t quite put my finger on . . . some sort of internal resistance. What was I pushing against? What was it about this close-up image that I was resisting?
I closed my laptop and looked around at the familiar surroundings of home. While my house is usually in various (and sometimes debatable) stages of “clean,” I do like to keep things tidy with minimal clutter. I think clutter maybe even makes me anxious. I feel more calm, more effective and more prepared to debate superheroes when there is not chaos in the space around me. I suppose this is also true of my interior life as well.
I like to know where I’m headed. I like it when the plans I make become a reality and when the goals I set are achieved. Things make sense when God answers my prayers in the ways I expect. And as much as I love adventure, I have a harder time when it’s an adventure I didn’t plan.
But when I’m honest about the reality of my life as a whole, there have been many twists and turns and many “adventures” I didn’t plan. There has been deep joy next to deep pain with grace blooming in between. There has been cynicism intertwined with trust. There has been death in the midst of life.
And although my natural inclination is to curate my life to be clutter- and chaos-free, I am learning that this robs me of giving God the glory for the masterpiece He is creating. Because He is in the beauty and the pain. He is in the mess as much as He is in order. When I take a step back and look at the whole of what He has done so far, I am in awe of His faithfulness and thankful that He is the artist of this wildflower life.
Jenn Hale is the Director of Human Resources here at Fullerton Free and also teaches for The Pursuit Bible study. Her kids Jackson (13) and Jane (8) keep her on her toes and educated on her superheroes. She loves anything of a botanical nature and has a green(ish) thumb.