Winding, bending, world-condemning,
Flowers quietly proclaiming:
“End of Babel, end of Rome,
Every empire comes and goes.”
They break free of our weak constraints,
Fences won’t control their grace,
Leaping nearer to the sky,
Towering over you and I.
These gentle rebels, free of wrath,
Hungrily consume our paths,
They crown themselves with queenly rights,
Enrobed in royal colors bright.
We find their wisdom hard to know,
Their fleeting beauty brings us woe,
Yet, flowers, teach us, in our strife,
Your noble death, consumed by life!
Flowers know something that we don’t: life moves in cycles.
Running through a park near my school’s campus this fall, I’ve noticed that since quarantine the flowers have overgrown many of the paths and walkways in absence of people. In some areas, they are tall and tangled enough to form a ceiling of sorts over those strolling through. They seem almost defiant of the restraint humanity has placed on them, in their own ephemeral way. Indeed, for a season they bloom extravagantly and uninhibited, but then they brown and die, decaying quickly when their time has come. In short, flowers just don’t care.
What gives flowers this kind of audacity, to be so temporary yet so vivacious? Why do they resist the order imposed on them when left to themselves? It’s because they know that things which are seen are passing away.
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18
Flowers bloom, grow tall, wilt, and shrivel. Birth leads to life which leads to death and rebirth. Spring becomes Summer, which turns to Fall, which freezes into Winter, which returns to Spring again. Societies are built, expand, collapse, and die. These are the cycles of life, the cycles of history too.
All that we see today–sickness, uncertainty, loss, even America itself–will no longer be in the future, and other things will take their place. The hope we have in these cycles is that Christ is making all things new (Revelation 21:5). He has designed an eternal life for us and an eternal kingdom which is not yet seen, but will last forever.