The here and now

Another installment in Director of Religious Education Fred Mills’s series “A Voice from the Little Chair.”

Fred walked to the front of the pulpit, moved the little chair, and placed a large vase filled with a variety of flowers on the carpet. After he carefully lowered himself into the chair he handed each of the children gathered in front of him a different flower, and he began to tell a story.

Once there was a young farmer who decided that his crop would be flowers. Filled with pride and expectation he decided that he must plant the most beautiful flowers and only the most beautiful flowers.

But what is the most beautiful flower? Is it a Rose with its delicate petals and wonderful scent? Is it a Lily with its long delicate stem and wonderful blossom? He could not decide. So he asked the wise monk who lived at the edge of the village.

The monk examined the Lily, the Rose, the Tulip, and the Iris. He wondered at the Orchid, and he explored the beauty of the Chrysanthemum. “You ask a very good question,” the monk said. “Which do think is the most beautiful?”

The young farmer thought and thought and then looked and looked. Each flower was special, and each flower was beautiful. “I cannot choose,” the farmer said. The monk said, “I know. When you look at them, each flower is beautiful. Every flower, plant, and person, is unique. Everything is beautiful if you stop and are mindful of its beauty.”

With that, the farmer knew that any flower he planted would be the most beautiful as long as the person looking at the flower was mindful of its beauty.

Photo of chrysanthemum via Wikimedia Commons.