Maielle suddenly stops riding her tricycle and gingerly hops off to bend down and inspect something. As I come closer I realize she is mesmerized by a bright, yellow dandelion. Using her tiny index finger she knocks it back and forth a few times and then plucks it from its home.
To a three year old, the yellow dandelion is a beautiful flower worthy of being a gift. As an adult, I know it’s an unwanted weed. But her indiscriminate little mind and heart sees it only as a flower to be included in the gift bouquet. I gratefully receive it as such and gush over its beauty.
Jesus said that “Unless you become as little children you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Little children are innocent and indiscriminate. They see things differently and willingly accept things at face value. To them a dandelion is a flower, not a weed. It’s beautiful, acceptable, and valuable as a gift.
If only we could become as little three year old Maielle and see ourselves through a child’s eyes – beautiful, acceptable, and valuable. Worthy to be chosen and included in the bouquet of life, we would live our lives in the moment rather than through the discriminate lens of comparing, judging and needing constant improvement.
Rather than thinking that we will be happy when we lose that twenty pounds, melt the cellulose, tighten the tummy or get thicker hair; what if we could accept the gift of who we are, as we are, and treat ourselves with kindness, honor and love?
What if we could accept that we were made to be the dandelion instead of the rose or orchid which need so much tender loving care?
Did you know that the dandelion yellow weed attracts ladybugs and provides early spring pollen for their food? Or that the dandelion roots are long and aerate the soil providing more minerals for the lawn when they die? Or that a dandelion is rich in beta carotene, vitamin C and A?
The dandelion name means “official remedy for disorders” which makes them a healthy addition to any salad. That’s a pretty good purpose for a weed.
We may feel more like a weed than a flower, but there’s a very good purpose for the weed in God’s scheme of life.
If we live our lives comparing and always wanting to be something we are not, we will never be happy. We will not enjoy the moments and will end up wasting our time and energy striving to be something we are not.
“You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (James 4:14) What is it to us if we are a dandelion that serves a practical purpose or a rose that serves as decoration? We are alive – let’s accept who we are and get on with living our life to the fullest here and now. Let’s rejoice with dandelion delight!