In 1967, soldiers stood outside the Pentagon with their rifles extended towards people protesting the Vietnam War. One of the protesters, George Harris, walked up to the line of soldiers and calmly inserted a carnation in one of the gun barrels. A photographer for the Washington Star captured it on film and it became one of the most iconic images of 1960’s flower power movement.
Flower power. Does such a thing exist? Buy your sweetheart a rose and find out. Flowers have fascinated mankind throughout history. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon is considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Kings, princes and people of great wealth have spent vast fortunes to grace their homes with elegant and expansive gardens. Americans spend over six billion dollars a year on flowers! Maybe we love flowers because we have genetic and latent memories of the Garden of Eden.
I was jogging down a sidewalk today when the wind carried the scent of flowers across my path and made me stop to enjoy. That’s when I noticed that the closest flowers were twenty yards away! Pretty potent stuff for such delicate and fragile things. Flowers can have a very strong influence on our feelings and moods. This dynamic is the basis for aromatherapy.
We tend to assume that flowers that please the eye will also please the nose, but this is not always the case. There are a large number of attractive flowers that carry no pleasing scent at all. Some actually stink! We are always surprised when we find a flower that looks good, but smells bad. Then there are those rare flowers that don’t stop at just looking and smelling good -- they taste good, too. Consider the Orange Blossom. It smells great, bears lovely white petals, and is accompanied by a juicy orange.
If you were a flower, what type would you be? Pretty, but stinky? Pretty and good smelling, but without flavor? Or would you be like the Orange Blossom? Jesus revealed our appearance is to have an attraction that emanates from our deeds. He said, let your light so shine before men that they may SEE your good works and glorify your Father Who is in Heaven. So, we can look good, but can we also smell good? Paul told the Philippians that their financial contributions contained the odor of a sweet smelling sacrifice to God. John said the prayers of the saints rise like incense before the Lord. So, we can look and smell good, but can we taste good, too?
Paul told the Galatians that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit would produce the bearing of fruit, specifically; love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and self-control. So out of our lives of faith, and from the Holy Spirit, fruit comes forth for the world to taste and be moved by the flavor of God. In the same way that David exhorted his readers to taste and see that the Lord is good. You and I should be giving out free samples of the Lord’s goodness to everyone we meet. Let’s look good, smell good and taste good to a world desperate for the beauty of the Lord.
Flower power. Maybe it isn’t so far-fetched after all.