jewels of innocence and joy and mirth
In front of the school today, the pansies danced in the sunlight … nodding their heads, smiling … encouraging the heart. Pansies are hardy flowers … enduring the cold winter, ice, snow, harsh winds … only to display brilliant colors as soon as spring emerges … a witness to God’s amazing sensitivity to beauty!
Tufted and bunched and ranged with careless art
Here, where the paving-stones are set apart,
Alert and gay and innocent of guile,
The little pansies nod their heads and smile.
With what a whispering and a lulling sound
They watch the children sport about the ground,
Longing, it seems, to join the pretty play
That laughs and runs the light-winged hours away.
And other children long ago there were
Who shone and played and made the garden fair,
To whom the pansies in their robes of white
And gold and purple gave a welcome bright.
Gone are those voices, but the others came.
Joyous and free, whose spirit was the same;
And other pansies, robed as those of old,
Peeped up and smiled in purple, white and gold.
For pansies are, I think, the little gleams
Of children’s visions from a world of dreams,
Jewels of innocence and joy and mirth,
Alight with laughter as they fall to earth.
Below, the ancient guardian, it may hap,
The kindly mother, takes them in her lap,
Decks them with glowing petals and replaces
In the glad air the friendly pansy-faces.
So tread not rashly, children, lest you crush
A part of childhood in a thoughtless rush.
Would you not treat them gently if you knew
Pansies are little bits of children too?
~R. C. Lehmann
I love the connection between the beauty of the flowers and the innocence of children. Matthew records a prayer …
At that time Jesus began to say, I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth [and I acknowledge openly and joyfully to Your honor], that You have hidden these things from the wise and clever and learned, and revealed them to babies [to the childish, untaught, and unskilled]. Yes, Father, [I praise You that] such was Your gracious will and good pleasure. ~Matthew 11:25-26 Amplified Version
There is a part of childhood never to be crushed … a jewel of innocence and joy and mirth … it’s that part of us that recongizes and accepts spiritual revelation … and allows us to call the Father, “Abba.”
You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, “Papa! Father!” Doesn’t that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? And if you are a child, you’re also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance. ~ E. Peterson’s paraphrase Galatians 4:6-7
God’s good pleasure … to adopt me … to give me an inheritance … to set my feet to dancing … and to paint the most beautiful faces on the pansies!