As the beautiful magnolia tree bloomed this spring out my kitchen window, I watched in wonder at one small bloom. It seemed insignificant to the others in the house and most people passing by didn’t even notice this bloom. It started out small like the others and blossomed just the same. I was drawn to the window every day to watch the transformation. Why was this one so different? Why could not take my eyes off it? The difference with this bloom is the extra adversity it had and how it reached just the same state of beauty…maybe even more. This small pod lasted through the winter without the protection of the other buds and smaller branches. It sprouted from a long thick branch that had been barren of flowers for a few years. The bloom was in a spot that the kids often climb. How did it survive the abuse of feet climbing up and down the limb? How did it survive a winter? And how after all the seasonal elements did it still bloom like all the others? The answer lies deep inside. The magnolia flower is still a flower. It is meant to be a flower and nothing else. It has the same makeup as the other flowers. With persistence and determination, it grew stronger each day.
This flower bud reminded me of a Romanian pastor, Rev. Richard Wurmbrand, who was tortured for 14 years in Communist prisons. He stood alone for Christ through many seasons of hardship. In his 1967 book, Tortured for Christ, he described how the Christians were tortured yet held no bitterness. “A flower, if you bruise it under your feet, rewards you by giving you its perfume. Likewise, Christians, tortured by the communists, rewarded their torturers by love.” A sobering thought during this Easter season.