Sep 27, 2014

ALL OF NATURE DECLARES // queen anne's lace


Queen Anne's lace is a delicate white wildflower that grows without much effort along roadsides, atop hillsides, and in lush meadows. I usually see them while walking or running on nearby trails from early summer to early autumn. "She" is from the same family as a carrot and her root actually smells like a carrot (1), which is why early American settlers called it "wild carrot" (2).

In the 18th century, Queen Anne's lace was found adorning the hair of ladies of the royal courts because of its ornate, lace-like pattern, which is where the name is derived. The peasants and working class used Queen Anne's lace for more practical means, such as a hair rinse for lice and dandruff that was made by steeping the flower. 

It seems a bit comical that a plant can be called both a "wild carrot" while also being used as an accessory for royals. But I suppose it depends who's perspective it is, really. How similar is this to our perspective of ourselves? 1 Peter 2:9 calls Christians a "royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God" who were taken from darkness into light. And yet, how many times do I see myself as a "wild carrot", good for nothing other than smelling like something that could be added to a stew? In the guise of humility, I confuse verses and actually believe it is expected for me to see myself as a nobody and insignificant. It is easy to think that Christians should put themselves last and not care for themselves, at least it has been for me. I desire humility but I did not realize I sought it at the expense of my understanding of my worth in the eyes of my Heavenly Father. 

It has always been easy for me to see God as King, Creator, Ruler, Righteous. The church I grew up in really focused on these Biblical representations of God and I am glad for it, because He truly is all of these things. God is big in the sense that He is greater than His creation and rules over nature, natural law, principalities and powers.  But He is more: He is also my Father. He rejoices over me with singing,  delights in me, and is near to me, while still being a Mighty Savior (Zephaniah 3:17). He lavishes His beloved children with good gifts, the best gift being Jesus (James 1:17). He sends the Holy Spirit to guide, instruct, and comfort us (John 14:26). He loves us with an unfailing love (John 3:16, Ps. 46:5-7, Jer.31:3). He knows me more than anyone ever could (Jer. 1:4-5, Ps.139:13-18). He has great plans for me just like a good dad has plans and hopes for his children (Jer. 29:11). 

This personal side of God does not make Him any less big or any less powerful. He is still king while also being my dad. And, that means that I have worth simply because I am a child of the King. This is not because of what I do in my own effort, but because of Whose I am. I am a daughter of a King and that makes me royalty in His eyes. Now before you roll your eyes because you've heard the princess analogy far too often (or at least, I have), I do believe this truth can change your perspective of your worth, or at least, it did for me. You see, once I studied verses about God being a father, and a really good father at that, it became easier to trust Him with all my anxious thoughts. It became more natural to ask Him to guide me. It became common sense to want Him to be king over my heart's desires.  I was not only seeing God as big, I was also growing in my understanding of Him as my Dad. I am blessed with a loving and hard-working dad who serves sacrificially for his nine children, so it comes naturally for me to see God as Father in this sense. It hurts to know the hard truth that hearing of God as a dad does not carry the same positive connotation for other women because of absent, abusive, or unloving dads. God is not that kind of dad and it wrecks our trust in Him if we see Him as that kind of dad. He is a good dad, or better yet, He is a perfect dad. The aforementioned verses were a few verses that have helped me see God as a perfect Father with a perfect love. And as I continue to grow in this understanding, I slowly begin to see myself in light of my position as a daughter of a king. I am not a princess in the Disney sense (though a pet tiger like Jasmine, gorgeous long locks like Rapunzel, an adorable shabby chic cottage in the woods like Snow White, and fancy glass slippers like Cinderella don't sound half bad, if you're asking me). I am more than that. I am a "royal priesthood", chosen and beloved. I have worth because of who my king dad is. And that changes everything.

The next time you see this white bloom on the side of a trail or in a meadow, stop and remember this. Queen's Anne lace in and of itself is nothing special, really. It is useful and practical, but with a nickname like "wild carrot" or being known as a lice-killer, there is nothing regal about it. But once the princesses and other royal women started donning them in their perfectly arranged hair, the flower became special. And we, in and of ourselves, have faults and we may seem like vegetables at times. Yet when we see our position in the "royal court" as being a child of an almighty and all-powerful king who affectionately and unrelentingly loves us, we begin to see we really are royalty, no tiara needed (though I'll take the glass slippers and tiger. Just sayin'!).

Sources:
1) Flower Essence Society. Plant Study: Queen Anne's lace.
http://www.flowersociety.org/queen-annes-lace-plant-study.html
2) Hedstrom-Page, Deborah. Meet Me in the Meadow: Finding God in the Wildflowers. 2005.

2 comments:

  1. Beautifully said!! In England they call it cow parsley. We learned that from my daughter riding horses. The horses love to eat it! It really is a pretty thing!

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    Replies
    1. Interesting! I always liked looking at them and it was fun to learn more about it! I never new it was from the carrot family!

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