Opened or Closed? (Orange).

Posted on: November 17, 2009

I took this photo on the Isle of Wight, at Ventnor Botanic Gardens, captivated by this flower’s near perfect shape and the fact it was bright orange.  Though it’s probably at the more tasteful end of the orange spectrum! 

For me, this flower has a half-shy, half-open look.  The petals at the centre form a tight bundle, each one pressed closely against its neighbour, a picture of self-protection.  By contrast, the surrounding petals are fully open, radiating out like the beams a child draws around the sun.

It reminds me of how small children are.  They’re either present with you, showing every emotion, or not at all (trying to hide behind a parent’s legs, for instance!) 

For a small child, it’s impossible not to be ‘all or nothing’.  Someone once defined childhood and adulthood in this way: an adult is capable of controlling the expressions on his face, whereas a child is not.  Adults do this so as not to reveal everything about themselves.  (I think realistically speaking, this is essential in a fallen world.)  So an adult can be ‘half-open’, showing certain emotions but concealing the rest.  Whereas children are open books.

‘Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame’.  (Psalm 34:5, the Old Testament.) 

When we draw near to God, we start to change in His light.  But God’s ‘radiance’ shining in our faces won’t make us suddenly like naïve children, displaying all that’s going on inside.  (It might restore some of our childlike innocence, though.  And ‘renew our youth’ – but that’s another story!)  While shame means we are always hiding, God’s radiance means we can fully accept ourselves.

Yes, we’ll still need to be pragmatic, and conceal some things.  But we’ll be able to trust that God is filtering His light through our personality, sin no longer a barrier. 



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  • None
  • Carole: Beautiful!
  • Amy: Sounds like a beautiful color and dress. And I would love to see a picture of that tree! I do love trees of all kinds, and you make some great points
  • Amy: What a beautiful poem or song to God, love it! We're exciting to see spring here up in the northeast after a long, cold, snowy winter! Blessings, A


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