The “Purple Flower” Lesson
Cheryl Saur of Saint Charles, MO, USA
Listen carefully to your own journey as a people, for it is a sacred journey and it has taught you many things you must know for the journey yet to come. -Doctrine and Covenants 162:2a
When I was about 3 or 4 years old we lived in Boise, Idaho. I loved the grape arbor in our back yard and remember my feet turning purple from walking under it and stepping on the fallen grapes. I also have memories of all the beautiful flowers that my mother planted and tended each spring. I even helped her pull weeds in the flower beds so the flowers would have more room to grow. Among the many types of flowers was a beautiful purple one. It was my favorite. I was completely fascinated with its shape and color. Purple was my favorite color for many, many years.
I can still see myself standing in the backyard, hearing the screen door bang open and my mother calling out my full name. Of course, I don’t remember why I chose to grab the purple flower and pull it up roots and all. But I do remember my mother’s face and the tone of her voice as she called out to me. I recall jumping up, turning around, and quickly putting my hands behind my back as if to hide what I had done. My mother pointed to the hole in the ground and asked me if I had pulled up the flower. Of course, I told her, “No!”
What burned into the very fiber of my being at that moment, standing before my mother and holding the evidence of my misdeed clearly visible behind my back, wasn’t the purple flower in my hands or the dirt on my face. What was etched into my soul wasn’t even the anger that I am sure was in her voice as she called out my name. What remains with me still is the deep sadness I saw in my mother’s eyes and, at the same time, feeling the depth of her compassion and love for me. At that moment, I became acutely aware that my denial had caused her deep pain; yet her love for me was still greater than this pain. This reality penetrated my heart and brought me to an immediate awareness of the difference between right and wrong.
As I continue to listen to the yearnings of my soul and plunge deeper into its interior spaces, I am constantly overwhelmed with God’s love, compassion, and faithfulness in my journey. I will also never forget my “purple flower” lesson! “God yearns to draw you close so that wounds may be healed, emptiness filled, and hope strengthened” (Doctrine and Covenants 163:10a).
“In God’s hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being” (Job 12:10).
All That Lives
Sit quietly and sense God’s presence flowing through the trees and all creation. Offer a prayer of gratitude for your connection to all that lives. Ask for grace to discern and carry out one small act of justice or healing that creates greater wholeness for the plants, animals, trees, waters, air, and land that are part of the community of creation.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.