Long shadows from bushes and weeds crept across the gravel and grass covered path along which I walked one Sunday in early summer. As I looked down, the sun's rays sparkled, as they struck the beautiful petals of a small yellow flower. I’d never before seen this species of flower, although certainly it has a name. Why did I see it at all? My attention was fixed through the afternoon on the massive trees that lined the path deep in this Indiana forest. Suddenly, forgetting these magnificent trees, my eyes focused on this very small, beautiful flower.
As I stood there admiring it, everything else seemed to vanish, as the flower's delicate yellow petals took center stage. Staring at it, I thought of the many times that we fail to appreciate the beauty around us – the smile on a spouse's face, the tissue-thin skin of an elderly parent, the majesty of a soaring bird? Instead, we get caught up in bigness – skyscrapers, massive homes, large corporations, business deals, and job priorities.
On life's walk, we easily miss what the yellow flowers on the path symbolized. To appreciate its symbolic value, let us allow the glitter of God’s grace to illuminate our actions so as to better appreciate why Pope Francis reminds us to be attentive to the small and vulnerable. When doing so, we experience true beauty and find God.
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