Jesus said, according to the King James Version, "Consider the lilies of the field, how the grow..." I'd translate it "Think about the wildflowers..." And since I have been walking the Camino de Santiago (French Route) in May and June, I have had plenty of inredibly beautiful wildflowers to think about. If you are interested you can follow the Camino trip at caminotrip.blogspot.com
In addition to agreeing that "Even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed as well as these," I've had a few other thoughts as I walked along.
First, wildflowers do not grow in order to be useful to people. I know that sometimes we go about planting them but in general wildflowers just happen. I suppose they don't happen if you grow genetically modified crops that are resistant to RoundUp and spray the variety out of your fields. I am grateful that they are not doing that here. I think that some of these plants actually do have some sort of medicinal or culinary uses. I know o passed wild thyme and anise. They give great joy to those who see them, at least to me as I walk by on the Camino. But I think that they are not there for that purpose. We ask "If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a noise?" To which any scientist would give a resounding "YES!" If a wildflower blooms and no one sees it, is it still a thing
of great beauty? I would answer yes, and that it is appreciated and cherished by the God who made it. Of course each of these flowers has its own place in the natural order of things. They feed the birds and the snails (there are marvelous snails along the Camino), and help the bees to make honey. But the flowers do all of that without working at it.
A bunch of years ago I wrote a simple song about flowers which has come back to my mind as I have been walking along through all of these spectacular flowers. You can listen to the song here: Blooming
Now in truth, Jesus asked his followers to consider the wildflowers in a specific context, that of not worrying. And I must shamefacedly admit that my life on the Camino even provided me with a specific example of this. I had done my laundry, hoping that it would all dry out on the lines. Especially some rather expensive underwear pants that I am wearing on this hike. Then as I was out for dinner, it began to rain. I dashed home to bring my clothes off the line only to find that some kind person or persons had already done so. But as I found my clothes I was distraught to realize that my underwear was not there. I rushed around like a madwoman accusing anyone with black shiny clothes in their hands. "Are you absolutely sure those are yours and not mine?" Finally, I located what I was sure we're my underpants. They were the right color and feel of fabric. It was not until the next morning when I tried to put them on that I realized I had done exactly what I had accused others of doing--I had grabbed someone else's underwear by mistake. Unfortunately, an Albergue at the crack of dawn is not a great place to correct such a mistake. I spread the underwear out where I thought it might be seen and had to hope that my unknown victim would recover them. I realized that the very scripture I had been contemplating applied to me, "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you--you of little faith?" (Matthew 6:28-30). I had to realize that I had been precisely a woman of little faith in that instance. (And to my chagrine I also realized that my underwear was in my own backpack all along--I had brought them in early and forgotten). But even if my initial supposition had been right and someone had unwittingly taken my things, I would have done much better to relax in the confidence that if God clothes the flowers he will also clothe me.