There is this last bluebonnet stalwartly persisting in our flowerbed. Halfway through bluebonnet season, we planted three pots of these beautiful ladies that we bought at Wal-Mart. We nestled them all together right in the front corner of the bed where they spent the last few days of April and all of May swaying in the persistent southern breeze that sweeps down our street for the warm part of the year.
Rain finally came in May. We are all so “exhaustified” of the drought, as Amy March would say. Plum exhaustified. When the rain blew in, we rejoiced, and our flowers – the bluebonnets, the plains coreopsis, the firewheels, the rose bush, the lantana – they drank up that rain in draughts deep enough to make your throat ache. Again and again, the rain came, dumped out by the pailful from that big Texas sky, and we rejoiced, and our flowers, they rose up under the weight of the drops on their leaves and their petals, undaunted.
Then, as all flowers do, the bluebonnets began to submit to their season, and that last rain washed the last of the petals off the ones that just couldn’t hold on anymore. The tired was just too strong, and the wind and the rain stripped the stems bare, the faded blue petals cast onto the mulch and scattered across the lawn. The faded green stems sag ever downward, slowly succumbing to the inevitable as they brown and turn hard, brittle, easily broken.
But there is this one last bluebonnet stalwartly persisting in our flowerbed.
It’s June 3rd, and there she is, her petite head still pointing ever upward, a little blue and white glory bonnet. There is this one last, little bluebonnet shaking her vibrant petals at the rising summer heat, refusing to shrivel, rebuffing that tightfisted wind with the strength of an oak tree. There is this one last bluebonnet digging her roots down as she stretches up and out and shouts from her lot that she is the remnant, the last, the one who does not admit defeat no matter what may come. And she is so small, so tender, so delicate to the eye, yet clearly she is made of sterner stuff.
We think strength is a display of brawn and might. But when the Lord leaves a remnant, He leaves “a meek and humble people” who “trust in the name of Yahweh” (Zephaniah 3:12). Did you know that YHWH, when pronounced without the vowels someone decided long ago belong there, sounds like breathing? Just yesterday, I read about it, about how these letters are called aspirated consonants, which means when spoken the YH sounds like inhaling and WH sounds like exhaling.
When the Lord leaves a remnant, He leaves a meek and humble people who trust in the name of Yahweh – they have confident dependence upon YHWH. The very breath we inhale and exhale – that quiet YH drawing in and WH pushing out – that breath is an everlasting, persistent, dauntless reminder that we are dependent on more than just bread, water, and sun. We must breathe in and breathe out. We must breathe in Him and breathe out Him, one breath after another, again and again and again.
Did you know that flowers breathe? That they are dependent upon the air around them to live? That they cannot survive on dirt, water, and sun? That they must breathe in and breathe out?
This one last bluebonnet – meek and humble in stature – she breathes Him in and out, too. She is a witness of His majesty, too. Can’t you see it? How she points us to the way Home? This humble little steeple of petals, a bonnet pointing up to Glory.