Tag Archives: beauty truth love

BEAUTY and DIGNITY of Flowers

The above photos show two flowers I found recently in our garden.  They are both white hibiscus flowers, which blossom pretty much year-round in Florida.

The first one is in full bloom.  The second is a post-bloom that I found on the ground under the bush.  I picked it up because I thought it was a piece of wadded-up waste paper. 

When I looked closer, I saw that it had curled up on itself before falling from the bush. It looked like it was in a shroud of its own petals, with only the top (the stigma?) and a little of its golden pollen visible, but mostly bald.

The flower is of course indescribably beautiful. But I was surprised to see the beauty that it evolved into in its death.

What makes something beautiful?  Why is something, anything, beautiful?  Conventional wisdom has it that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, hinting that different people can see different things as beautiful (or ugly).  No doubt true to some extent, though I have trouble believing that anyone can find a hibiscus flower ugly. 

The Christian view is that beauty is a creation of God, one of the three things that show God to us (Truth, Beauty, and Love).  That leads to the question of whether God makes his creation intrinsically beautiful, or God instead gives us the capacity to see and appreciate beauty around us. Or both.

When I look at the hibiscus blossom, I see beauty.  And when I see the wilted flower in its petal-shroud, I see a dignity of faded beauty lost. And either way, I thank God for letting me see them.

“It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, O Lord.”

Always and everywhere.

.