One spring morning during our worship service, I felt as if I were back in the 60s witnessing Flower Power bloom again. Across the front of the church stood a group of some forty high schoolers who’d spent Friday to Sunday in our church. They were part of a diocesan youth gathering called Exodus, which uses the metaphor of the Israelites’ journey out of Egypt to focus on the movement of God’s people. We had volunteered to feed and shelter them; they were joining our morning worship service only long enough to offer us their gratitude with words and flowers. As they left the sanctuary, they distributed daisies to us; daisies that had been dyed colors God simply forgot to think of when She was making the original design. At first I wasn’t even sure they were real.
But when one of them handed me a turquoise flower and thanked me, I knew the flowers were as genuine as the teens. I watched our priest’s older son go up to the altar and tuck a daisy behind his mother’s left ear. Daisies began sprouting from pockets, buttonholes, locks of hair. We all looked the better for them.
At Eucharist, the servers’ somber clerical outfits were enlivened: each woman wore her flower—blue, yellow, orange—behind one ear. The altar flowers were yellow and orange, and it looked as if the teens had carefully coordinated their choices. There’s a stained glass Jesus-in-glory behind the altar, and that morning even Jesus’ yellow crown resembled a daisy’s corona.
The poet e.e. cummings wrote, “I thank heaven someone is crazy enough to give me a daisy.” Jesus said “Consider the lilies,” but daisies can also prompt our thinking!