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Lily Of The Valley

Friday 18, June 2010

I walked into my local Tesco Express today to do my daily ritual. I looked to see if there were any good bargains on offer in the mark down section, aimed to get some juice and water and any added extras. In the mark down section, I saw 2 bunches of white Lillies – not as fresh as could be, but good enough to put on display. The scent that came from them were amazing. From 5 pounds to 1 pound for each fully equipped bouquet, I put both in my basket.

Back at home, after I had taken the Lillies out of their packaging and put them in vases set by either side of the telly looking and smelling wonderful, I was speaking to a friend about how my day had been.

It was the last day at work of what was meant to be a 3 month temporary contract, but had lasted for 1 year longer than that. I shared with my friend my joy and my expectations that something good was going to come. Normally, if being out of work, some spirits get diffused, some dejected and hopeless. I say that because in the past, facing the same circumstance, that is how I felt. But this time, I felt - expectant – and most of all - I felt free. 'Free' because I had a manager that was relentless in her approach to control and oppress and bring her workers down, that this was a much needed breath of fresh air.

When I mentioned my joy in finding these forsaken Lillies that I had recently purchased to my friend, the first thing he said was ‘Oh, Lillies are always meant to be a sign of death’.

'Death..? Death?' I questioned. 'Aint nobody dying around me too soon boy, I ain't laying no Lillies on nobody's grave any time soon - what you talkin' bout fool?'.

There was a pause. He had paused. My rambling trailed off as I too paused.

I thought about what he had just said and realised - he was right. There had been a death to my current situation, an end, an inactivity of something that was once active, where now, there was new life to come from what was once alive. The end of this chapter of my current working situation – end of contract - the death – was surely going to birth a way for new life, new beginnings. For where there has been a death, there must come forth new life.

I thought back to the bible story of the time Lazarus was declared dead. Christ came and brought him back to life, even though others doubted what Power Christ had to resurrect. There were those that witnessed the death of Christ, and even though they mourned and lamented, thinking it was the end - He was brought back to life! I was pleased at my new purchase of these Lillies, proudly say I. That which someone thought was less than worth the full price because of its appearance, was put to good use on a mantelpiece, at literally a next to nothing price – and in full bloom.

Christ paid the price for humankind, when we appeared less than worthy. What with all the control issues, trying to oppress, back biting and gossiping we engage in - you wonder why? But Jesus made a pact, that no matter what, we were worth it. No matter how decrepit, forlorn, bad behaved or unbecoming we were, through His Holy Spirit, He would come and inhabit us and give us new life, simply because of love. A love for a life more worthy than what it seemed.

Those Lillies represented much for me, even though I didn't even realise it at the time that I bought them. Heck, I was just buying some slightly wilted looking flowers that went at a price that seemed too good to pass. I look at the flowers now standing in their vases fed full of water, and they seem to glow in all its glory, smelling like Lillies should. Connected to what they needed to give them life - the water - they were in full bloom and rejuvenated. They represented new life in the midst of a death, it represented new life in the form of a bloom. They represented humankind connected to Christ resurrected – as being the Beginning and The End, The First and The Last, The Fairest of Ten Thousand, beautiful Rose of Sharon, The Lily of The Valley.

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