I love lavender. When I was about 10, I chose a powder blue and lavender carpet for my new basement bedroom. (Don't knock it until you've seen it. It was the late 1960s, you know.)
When I got close enough to look, I wasn't disappointed. Two bright green bugs were perched on the purple blossom, making an even prettier picture.
But then I looked at the leaves and stems. They were filled with thorns. When I ventured closer, I found out they were very prickly and sharp.
Randy says they are a thistle. They are not something you want in your fields, no matter how pretty the purple bloom.
Walking gives me lots of time to think. And as I turned back toward home, I thought the thistle provides a good analogy for us, too.
There are lots of people who look great on the outside. They have the perfect figure. Their hair is beautifully styled. They are wearing the latest fashions.
But sometimes looks can be deceiving. I thought about it in a couple of ways. Maybe that person looks like she has it all together and that life is perfect for her. But if you look a little closer, you realize that she is struggling, just like you are, with little "prickles" that punctuate a day gone wrong.
It is also a reminder to me to try not to get "prickly" when things are going badly. Those "prickles" can definitely affect the beauty I show my family, my friends and the world.
There is also the rare occasion when you find that put-together person is pretty on the outside, but she isn't nearly as pretty on the inside.
No matter the situation, it's important to look beyond the surface. Usually, you'll find beauty in the midst of thorns.
"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great work in God's sight."
1 Peter 3: 3-4
Wishing you a beautiful day - inside and out!