Yesterday I wrote about spending a day with our granddaughter. Among the things we did was planting flowers. I am not a gardener, but between us, we managed to plant a row of petunias.
I like petunias. I like their bright colors. I like the fact that, once rooted, they spread, almost contagiously. Petunais are a humble flower. They don't grow very tall and don't pretend to be more than they are. They remind me that God's creations are perfect.
Our culture has little patience with things and people who are not perfect. Artificial standards are placed upon us, the messages bombarding our senses through television, movies, advertisements, and the internet: "You're not thin enough." "You're not pretty enough." "You're not smart enough." "You're not popular enough." "You're not rich enough." In short, "You're not enough."
These messages are not confined to adults. They infect our children, our grandchildren with insidious feelings of inferiority, of not measuring up, of being less than what they are. Just as petunias spread, so do these feelings. How does a vulnerable little girl deal with hearing a classmate taunt her, "You're fat?" How does she feel upon watching television shows like "Little Miss Perfect?"
We, as parents, grandparents, teachers, have the opportunity to combat these messages. We can treat our children, each other, and ourselves as what we are: children of a divine parent. We can remember the petunia, one of God's perfect creations.
So, for today, I am grateful for petunias.