The fair flowers of grace...


"I must try and cultivate an eye for life's mercies... 
And life, while it has its ugly swamps, its vile weeds, and its sharp thorns,
has always its fair flowers to charm the eye with their beauty, 
or to fill the air with their fragrance..." 
~ Rev. John Flowers Serjeant, 1878

It's my Pollywog Creek motto - to cultivate an eye for life's mercies, but sometimes that Pollyanna attitude of gratitude can be hard to hold onto when ugly swamps, vile weeds, and sharp thorns prevail.

Ann calls it the hard thanks - the hard eucharisteo - counting the gifts in the muddy bog of affliction. Paul called it a boasting in weakness for the sake of Christ. Ann knows and Paul knew - it's grace. 

Gratitude and contentment "with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities" is not a resignation in defeat or a lack of faith, but an acknowledgement that the fair flowers of grace are sufficient amid the thorns.

And when the sharp thorns of chronic illness dig deep, I press on with joy, comforted in the knowledge that He promises for the sake of Christ, that when I am weak that He is strong.

This is my comfort in my affliction,
that your promise gives me life.

~ Psalm 119:50

{Photos} a tiny monk orchid - growing wild under an oak tree on Pollywog Creek