My Beloved Servant in Whom I Delight (by Soyon Thompson; her full description).
Isaiah expressed God’s view of His Son: “Look at my Servant, in whom I delight.” What is this humble, just servant like? He won’t break a bruised reed, or quench a smoldering wick.
I wanted to paint an image that would depict Jesus, the delightful Son, who so humbly and gently came to be among the bruised reeds, the broken people. At first I didn’t know how I would represent Christ in this painting. I knew I wanted to include a bruised reed so for weeks my eyes were constantly searching in ditches and naturalized spaces to find an image of a bruised reed. All while praying about how I could represent Jesus in this painting. And then I saw the first blooms of Goldenrods. And the DELIGHT! The delight I experience every year when I see these Goldenrods start to bloom in masses, the marking of the end of summer, the beginning of fall, the signal of the change of seasons. Golden colours emerging in tired overgrown ditches where reeds are bent and about to fall. The ditches suddenly have new life and I can finally give a sigh of relief for the upcoming season of harvest and rest. I imagine the delight of God the Father when his Son’s time came to start his ministry on this tired earth.
This seasonal ritual for me, of noticing the Goldenrods, and sitting in the joy of beauty, stirred my spirit and I knew the Holy Spirit was answering my prayers ~ paint Goldenrods among the bruised reeds.
So I chose Goldenrods to represent Christ, the beloved Servant, who gently walks among all of humanity, the bruised reeds. He came at just the right time, in the season his Father chose, to bloom when the world was weary and ready for the Messiah.
A quick google search will lead you to a discovery of the healing effects of goldenrods, and they are numerous. Christ healed numerous people and he still does today. And lest you dislike these plants because they seem to be the cause of your seasonal allergies, they are likely not. Rather, the culprit of your allergies may be more accurately the Ragweed that are blooming at the same time as the goldenrods. Christ was also misunderstood, rejected, and scorned.
He came to bring New Life, and what joy he brought for all who met him and received him. And then he died, for justice and love. Just as Goldenrods die in the winter, there is always hope with Spring. He resurrected and brought forth more seeds to sprout. And his fragrance, his golden arrows are being scattered to all the earth.
So next spring when I notice the green growth in the ditches and the roadsides, I will remember that among them are many more goldenrods. And at the end of summer after a long season of hard field work in the dirt of this world, there will come a reward in the blooms of goldenrods, and I will delight in the promise of Christ, and know that he is waiting for all who are bruised and tired.
He came for us. Find hope in him alone.