Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Beauty in the Cracks

The pink petunia seemed to grow right out of the concrete as I pulled into a parking spot on Main Street Stafford.

Just a few yards away, its compatriots were gathered demurely in the red-brick planter box. Since early spring, those petunias have been growing right where the conscientious, community-minded gardeners planted them. The flowers brighten and beautify Stafford's downtown. And they are doing their job admirably. All up and down Main Street, flowers bloom in the planter boxes, colors bright and cheery,  waving in the Kansas breeze.
Since springtime, I've noticed the planter boxes on my way into the Post Office or Stafford Mercantile or even just driving down the street. But, honestly, they remained in my peripheral vision. They were there. They were pretty. But, I didn't give them all that much thought or attention.
But, as I pulled into the diagonal parking space, this escapee caught my imagination. How did it get there? Did a seed float a few yards away and take root in the miniscule spot of soil found in a sidewalk crack? I was sufficiently intrigued to take a few photos.
I kept thinking about the little flower bravely growing in the concrete crack, long after I left Stafford for home. I thought the pink petunia was unique. But, when I was in town again the next day, I noticed even more of these "escapee" flowers. 
And it made me think about finding beauty in the cracks - in the places where you least expect it.

We know the world is cracked.
  • A mass shooting mows down worshipers in a South Carolina church.
  • Passionate people can't agree with one another at a church conference. Both sides believe they are representing Jesus and his teachings. 
  • Friends mourn loved ones.
  • Others struggle with scary diagnoses. 
  • Machinery breaks down - again.
I could go on and on.

Yes, the world is cracked. Sometimes, like the little pink petunia, we feel like we're all alone, clinging precariously to life in less-than-ideal circumstances. But, if we look around, we might find others standing in the cracks, just like those hardy flowers that find a way to bloom from concrete. 

It requires us to STOP.
It requires us to intentionally find the beauty in bad situations. I'm not saying there is beauty when  innocent people are murdered or when people disagree or when we deal with the 101 frustrations of living in this imperfect world.
But maybe the beauty is in how we respond to one another in love and compassion. Maybe the beauty is actually seeing the miracles all around us.

A Time to Think

All the world is an utterance of the Almighty.
Its countless beauties, its exquisite adaptations,
all speak to you of Him.
–Phillips Brooks, clergyman and author

A Time to Act

Open your heart to the beauty that surrounds you.

A Time to Pray

Dear Lord, please help me to see the beauty of every day.
The devotional (in blue) was from a daily email from Guideposts.


  1. i LOVE everything about this post! such wonderful thoughts.

    1. Thank you, Marli! I appreciate your kind words.

  2. This is a beautiful post Kim. With so many bad things happening around the world sometimes we do need to stop and notice the little things, the things of true beauty.