This is coreopsis.
My heart has always warmed to coreopsis, the delicate, fairy-like foliage framing clouds of tiny, daisy shaped flowers.
Our neighborhood has boulevards, and at the tip of the boulevard just past our house, someone had put in a little garden of perennials: sedum, ornamental grasses, and a border of coreopsis.
This spring, the employees of the company that mows the common ares in our neighborhood took a weed-whacker to the coreopsis and mowed it to the ground. I was stunned and appalled.
I knelt beside the little bed and tried to see if there were any remnants of coreopsis that I could encourage to grow back. I carefully weeded out the crabgrass that sprang up in newfound freedom from other vegetation. I carried numerous sprinkling cans of water over and gave drink to the soil.
Small patches of coreopsis started to come back, feebly. I continued weeding and watering. Shawn inserted a row of small orange flags around the area. Some bare spots persisted, so we dug up a few purple coneflowers and black-eyed-susans from our own yard and transplanted them to fill the empty spaces, increasing our trips with the watering can to help them get established. This is a challenge for me, with my lupus. I really feel those walks with the watering can. But it was a labor of love.
A period of heavy rains followed, and I saw with satisfaction that our transplants had settled in and were growing.
Yesterday, I walked over to check my babies, and to my horror, I saw that the mowing crew had been through again and mowed down everything in the bed, even knocking one of Shawn's orange flags into the road where it lay forlorn and humiliated. What had been a small but flourishing black-eyed-susan was now a trio of dry, bare stems jutting three inches from the ground. I felt like I'd been socked in the stomach. Tears stung the backs of my eyes. And then my arms began to tremble with rage. How can people who purport to be landscapers be so incredibly stupid and destructive?
This is my take-away: If I can love my little struggling perennials and feel such protective fury over their destruction, how much more does God love His children, and direct wrath against the forces of evil that deceive them and separate them from Him?
God loves us dearly. He created the entire, vast universe to hold us, and He designed a planet perfectly suited to provide air that we could breathe, water to hydrate our cells, an eco-system with rain and sun, plants and animals, food and light and beauty. God breathed into us the breath of His own life, to give us life. He tenderly cares for us, and when sin became a problem for us, He sent His precious, only begotten Son to die--to literally bleed out--to make a way to redeem us. God has invested all this in His children, His treasured creations.
God loves us, and someday, He is going to take our enemy, the devil, down.
But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,
it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck
and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
Do you not know that you are God's temple
and that God's Spirit dwells in you?
If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him.
For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.
~1 Corinthians 3:16-17
And the devil who had deceived them
was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur
where the beast and false prophet were,
and they will be tormented day and night
forever and ever.
The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.