Parable of the purple flower

There once was a woman who owned rolling country land as far as the eye could see. It was filled with wildflowers, a remarkable array of colors and shapes and sizes, flowers that followed the bend of the sun from sunup to sundown. The woman spent her days walking among the vast array of flowers, delighting in the variety of their shapes and scents and textures. One day, she noted a new purple flower taking root, and she rejoiced in the ever yet-added variety. A little while later, she went back to that spot and she saw that the flower had reproduced quickly and now there were others. That’s good, the woman thought. The plant is happy to be here. Soon the purple flower became so hungry and voracious that it started choking out the other wildflowers, and the woman was concerned. She did nothing, hoping that something would stop the flower. However, nothing did. The flower spread and grew, and soon it took over an entire patch of her land. I don’t like this, the woman said as she watched. But she did nothing. Months later, the patch had grown into an entire swath of land, and then months after that, her entire hillside of wildflowers had perished, save for this purple flower. Now, when she looked out the window and saw an entire sea of purple flowers waving in the wind, she would become distraught and cry. One day, a wise friend visited her. The woman spent much time and tears telling her friend about what used to be her rolling fields of wildflowers and how they were destroyed by the purple flower.

The friend listened carefully. “What did you do to produce your rolling hills of diverse wildflowers?” she asked.

“Nothing,” the woman replied.

“What did you do to prevent the purple flower from taking over your rolling hills?” she asked.

“Nothing,” the woman replied.

“You did nothing to receive the gift, and you did nothing to protect the gift,” the friend replied. That is your answer.”

© Meisaan Chan

About Meisaan Chan
This entry was posted in Parable, Scripture riff, writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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