This Thursday’s Child–Not Like the Others

A couple of years ago, I visited Holland, Michigan at Tulip Time. It makes sense, with the strong Dutch immigrant heritage in the area, that there should be a festival to celebrate a flowering bulb that the Dutch have enjoyed for centuries.

It seems, as you drive through town, that every spare space is thickly planted with tall, elegant tulips. In most cases, each bed displays plants of identical shape and color. For a photographer, it can make finding a different view a bit harder.

When, beneath a mass of pale pink tulips and their green foliage my eye caught this purple pansy, the melody of a childhood song popped into my head: “I’m a lonely little petunia in an onion patch….” Of course, I quickly changed out the lyrics to suit the situation, but the song stayed with me.

There are definitely frequent times that I feel like an outsider among the people of my heritage. For whatever reasons, my life hasn’t fit many ordinary social patterns. But I’m here, and it’s possible that my being has impact that I’ll never know.

The tulips’ blooming season fades, and other things are planted in their stead. This purple pansy was a self-seed from a planting the year before. Sprouting on its own, in a spot where the light and warmth penetrated the crowded tulip stalks, it blossomed in a low place, in vivid, royal color. I hope that no city employee uprooted it as a weed.

Though I’m likely to be overlooked in this urgent, platform-building world, I am secure in the knowledge that there is One who sees me. He knows precisely where to look, and what form my life will flower into. He also knows when the work I’ve done will come to seed.