King Solomon gave us a beautiful description of spring when he wrote, “For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle dove is heard in our land” (Song of Solomon 2:11-12).
As the Lenten season approaches, the arrival of spring blooms will lift our spirits. Six of the 25 different trilliums in Rockdale County (Georgia) are featured in the spring volume of my wildflower book.
As noted in the columns in my book, trilliums are widely viewed as a reminder of the Trinity: God manifest in three ways, Father, Son and Spirit.
Today we examine the grandest of the genus, the white trillium.
WHITE TRILLIUM (Trillium grandiflorum)
The blooms of this trillium, in the right habitat, may measure up to 4 inches across, much wider than the pink Catesby trillium. The plant may stand as tall as 18 inches, towering over the reddish-brown toadshade. In several areas of the nation, it is called the large-flowered trillium.
The white trillium is not easily found. Imagine that you are canoeing into a cove on Black Shoals Lake. As you drift along the water’s edge, you see a path made by deer who descend from the bluff to quench their thirst.
You beach the canoe and ascend the path. Amid boulders jutting from the sides of the ravine your eyes become fixed on a sparkle of white.
As you press your way through the underbrush, you discover that God has prepared a special treat just for you to see. It is likely that you will be the only person whose spirit is refreshed by its beauty before it fades away. How blessed you are for that special moment.
A twinge of sadness may creep into your consciousness, because the exhilaration of the discovery cannot be truly shared with those persons you most deeply love. Of course, you will describe the surprising discovery, but no words can take the place of being present to kneel beside that lovely trillium — in that pristine setting — to observe the beauty God has fashioned.
God intended that we, the highest order of His creation, be beautiful like the trillium — to reflect the full nature of God. In contrast, humankind’s disobedience, rebellion and greed nearly destroyed His design. But He provided the revitalizing power through His Son, Jesus, available to all who will humbly accept that new life.
How? With the same simple faith of a little child who trusts its parent.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, the whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16-17 KJV).
The message symbolized by the trillium is simply that God loves you and is eager to forgive you of all the lies you’ve told, the mean things said and done, the evil thoughts, and the sin of disbelief and rebellion. Not only does He forgive you, He teaches you to forgive yourself and even to forgive those who have hurt you.
Thank you, God, for the love that is so great to give each of us that new life.
Now, share the the story of your new found beauty, a story far more thrilling than the discovery of the white trillium.
Orrin Morris is a retired Baptist minister, artist and art teacher. His articles appear weekly at The Rockdale Citizen. To purchase a two-volume set of books featuring his wildflower columns, visit the Nature Seen Gallery & Frame Shop, 914 Center Street in Olde Town Conyers, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Re-published with the author’s permission.