Dandelions bear a bad reputation.
Just consider some of its names. The Dutch call it “horse flower” and to the Swedes it’s “worm rose”—most likely due to its low status as a weed. The Hungarians refer to it as “dog milk” and to the Lithuanians it’s “sow’s milk” due to its sticky white sap. It gets worse. The French, English, and Italians all have names for the dandelion flower that liken it to “urine stains.”
It’s no wonder, then, that dandelions are an annoyance to every landscaper and the target of herbicides. They mottle the consistency and uniformity of lawns. They are like dissenters in an orderly meeting or the noisy neighbors in the village of Grassland.
But this reputation is unfair and unfortunate. To many people dandelions are a delight to the eyes that add sparkle to the monotony of green. They are happy flowers that greet us through the day with a cheery “hello.”
To children dandelions are easily accessible flowers, probably the first bouquet they pick for their moms. Dandelions also provide children with an assortment of games. Kids make loops from its hollow stems, turn its frizzy hairdo of spores into a tiny bald head, or (best of all) use it as a practical joke on the unsuspecting with those ominous words, “Open your mouth and close your eyes and I will give you a big surprise.” Dandelions are fun flowers.
And if you own hamsters, gerbils, or guinea pigs, dandelion leaves are an inexhaustible source of fresh greens that spruce up the bland diet of dry pellets.
Get rid of dandelions? God forbid. They are God’s chorale that announces spring is here. Dandelions add their voices to all the other flowers of spring that bring joy and delight to the human soul.
Even as I write this something else comes to mind. Dandelions remind me of people in our communities, workplaces, and churches. They are the ones who rub us the wrong way, whose free spirits fail to fall in line and march in lockstep with the rest. Yet it’s our ugly attitude that makes us view them as an infestation and wish to “weed them out.” We fail to see that God sends every person into our lives with a mission to express something of our Heavenly Father’s own character. Sure, many fail at this mission and become hurtful and abusive. But do not close your eyes to the good in every person and that God has sent them to bless us and to add color and life to our world.
Don’t write others or yourself off as a useless dandelion.
Perhaps to the apostle Peter the doubting Thomas may have seemed as a dissenting dandelion. Perhaps the apostle Paul may have considered John Mark as a worthless weed. But God had a mission and purpose for both men and He used them to build His kingdom. Perhaps Jesse believed his youngest son David to be a useless “worm rose.” For David wrote, “My father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will pick me up” (Ps. 27:10). And the Lord chose David and made him the most powerful king on earth.
God has a purpose and plan for every one of us and He alone understands our true value and significance.
Dear Father in heaven, I thank You that You love me and that I am always in Your thoughts. Thank You that You have a plan and purpose for my life. Please help me to understand Your love for me and the value You place upon me. Please fashion me into a true child of Your image and a person after Your own heart. Amen.
In article photo by Artem Beliaikin @belart84 on Unsplash