ORRIN MORRIS: Lily-of-the-valley symbolizes purity, and is a treasured gift

Lily-Of-The-ValleyConvallaria Montana

Lily-Of-The-ValleyConvallaria Montana

In the middle of the 19th century, a gospel tune was written entitled "The Lily of the Valley." Based on Song of Solomon 2:1 it reads,"I have found a friend in Jesus,

He's everything to me,

He's the fairest of ten thousand to my soul;

The Lily of the Valley, in Him alone I see

All I need to cleanse and make me fully whole."

I doubt if many people in Bethlehem 2,000 ago comprehended the magnitude of the birth of Jesus. Even in the four Gospels there is little evidence until after the Resurrection that there was eternal significance to Jesus' life, death and resurrection.

As this hymn says, in these events we discover "All I need to cleanse and make me fully whole."

I have chosen to feature this wildflower today because its white blooms symbolize purity, their shape is bell-like and its presence is a treasured gift.LILY-OF-THE-VALLEY

Convallaria montanaLily-of-the-valley is rather difficult to find because it does not grow in colonies. Lily-of-the-valley is so rare that in North Carolina it is listed as a threatened species and in Kentucky as an endangered species.

This unique wildflower will most likely be found from April to June in hilly wooded terrain where the soil is rich.

The plant has only two or three large leaves. The base of the leaves encircle the stem on which the blooms appear. That flower stalk does not exceed the height of the 8- to 10-inch leaves.

The flowers are bell-shaped and have a delicate fragrance that perfume makers have tried in vain to duplicate. There is no substitute on the market that matches this flower's scent blended with the earthy odors of our hardwood forests.

Likewise, there is no substitute for the fragrant life made possible by the Lily of the Valley in the gospel song.

The Advent Season prepares us for the celebration of Christmas. May God's expression of love seen in the birth of Jesus lead you to open yourself to the truth of John 3:17 "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."

May you allow Him to cleanse you with His redeeming love, thus making you fully whole as you forgive yourself.

Orrin Morris is a retired Baptist minister, local artist and art teacher. Notecards are available of the wildflowers published in the Citizen. His email is odmsketchingpad@yahoo.com or call him at 770-929-3697.