We’ve been harvesting chamomile flowers. The slender stems slide between our fingers. We pop their citrine heads free and dry them in a tray. A couple of plants supply us with enough flowers for a year of yellow tea.
There’s a lot of good stuff in chamomile. It’s supposed to relax you, making it a lovely tea to drink on a cold winter evening. And it can help with digestion and stomach issues, though it may also be linked to miscarriage, so pregnant women need to be cautious.
For us, each grinning flower is a sign of God’s abundant blessing. They’re little flowers of God’s grace. Chamomile seeds are minuscule–so small that if Jesus had taught the Sermon on the Mount in Moundridge, he might have foregone the mustard and given the “parable of the chamomile seed.”
But being small also means that chamomile seeds disseminate easily. We have more chamomile than we can deal with. We have chamomile feathering up between the zinnias and the peppers. Chamomile’s choking back the chard. It’s one degree of abundance away from becoming a weed.
Samuel wells writes that God “overwhelms his people by the abundance of his gifts” (God’s Companions, p.17). God sends the manna and multiplies the loaves. God cracks the water from the rock in the desert and sends ravens circling down with food in their beaks. God heals and saves and goes toe to toe with our worst demons.
All of this is unfolding around us, in our right here and our right now. God shows up and grants us strength for the morning and direction for the dark night. God places a blessing right on our path.
It’s one of those lessons I find myself learning again and again. I keep discovering that I have to come back to God and seek his power and his wisdom. I keep finding that God has a way of giving me what I need, just when I need it: a word from someone, a piece of Scripture that bears me up. It’s kind of funny sometimes how it all comes together.
That’s it: God’s little flowers opening and fading all around us.