Photo and Commentary ©2021 by Robert Howson
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
To paraphrase another, “Lilies are like other flowers, only more so.” Their rich hues, their silky petals which retain richness found few other places, their fragrance that is almost addictive, perhaps all of these were reasons why biblical authors chose to use them to point out specialness. Varieties growing in both our front and back yards share these qualities with wild varieties found in an assortment of places around the world to enrich the lives of people who find them there.
Two Psalms were written to the tune of “Lilies”, Psalm 45 which was a wedding song, and Psalm 80 which was a covenant song. I’m certain those songs, could we hear them today, would sound foreign to our Western ears, yet I suspect even our eight-note-ears could come to appreciate the beauty found therein. But in my narrow way of thinking, they should sound like something from Debussy or Ravel and if asked to select an artist to paint them I’d pick Monet. Fortunately we don’t have to. We simply need to step outside and revel in their unpicked beauty.
And if appropriate appreciation was forthcoming, I’d be in good company. For I have no doubt that Christ was in that setting when He uttered those famous “King James Words” found in the gospels: “Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (Luke 12:27) I do differ from those who gave us that well-worn translation. Somewhere in that sentence they needed to have included an exclamation mark.