Thursday, December 12, 2013

What Does a Flower Mean to You?

How do flowers take on a special meaning? How did the rose first become associated with 'love'? Or who selected the white carnation to represent 'remembrance'? Or the black-eyed Susan to symbolize 'encouragement'?

The rose is barely even mentioned in the Bible – if the rose was in the Garden of Eden, certainly it went to extinction by the flood during Noah's time. The bride in the Song of Songs states she is Sharon's rose (S of S 2:1), but that is the only reference to the rose.

Throughout the western hemisphere and perhaps around the world, the rose seems to be the most popular flower. Perhaps it began something like this fictional account:
One day the queen's granddaughter found a lovely little flower along a multicolored path of pinks, red, and white blossoms. She picked one for the queen as an expression of her love for this elegant woman. Soon the king picked one for her as well, as did all the queen's attendants. Within a matter of days, the rose went viral within the palace – everyone was selecting a gorgeous rose as an expression of their adoration of this gracious woman. Even palace visitors picked up on this beautiful representation of love.
I believe that the beauty of flowers is in the eye of the beholder. When I gave my ex-wife a large bouquet of chrysanthemums immediately following the court's ruling on the divorce, I suspect it had a different meaning than you might suggest (the bunch of flowers were not in a vase and were not discovered for several days). To me the chrysanthemums will always represent reconciliation which in this case never happened; I am now happily remarried.

In my book A Garden of Love, I attempt to describe the symbolic meaning that the Holy Spirit inspired me to see, using thirty spectacular flowers. This is an endearing gift book and devotional that Christian women greatly enjoy. Written from my perspective as a gardener, the flowers provide a symbolic look at what it means to be a Christian that loves.

On a related note, have you seen that I moved those blog articles not related to flowers to a new blog named Bible Discernments? If you particularly enjoyed one of the Bible-related articles that do not discuss flowers or gardening, you will find them there – you may also enroll in an eMail subscription at that site. My article today is entitled What Would You Do?

The flower that is shown as a background on the Bible Discernments blog is the gaura. In my personal life and my writings, I often use the gaura to symbolize wisdom. In the A Garden of Love book, I associate the gaura with how The Holy Spirit Helps Us Love. As a Christian author that thoroughly enjoys gardening, the association of flowers to Biblical truths seem somehow only too natural to me.