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ORRIN MORRIS: Indians used strange looking coneflower to make dye, tea

In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve met Satan, who was in the form of a serpent. As he tempted them to eat of the forbidden fruit, he said, "For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil" (v. 5). To us he says, "If you follow my clever ways you will be as wise as God. You will be able to figure it ALL out."However, there is a mysterious aspect of God and His creation that defies our rational comprehension. Some things I "know" and other things I "believe" because of my religious tradition.

I "know" on a personal level my spiritual journey and I interpret it as a series of personal faith-decisions. On the other hand, some of you interpret your journey in other terms.

There is ample evidence that God is at work blessing all of us.

The wildflower for today is a fascinating example of God's creation. It is as strange-looking as some of our theological conclusions and religious practices.PRAIRIE CONEFLOWER

Ratibida columniferaA good friend of mine has a large wildflower patch full of many common and uncommon blooms. That's where I found this species.

I then checked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Georgia inventory and verified its identity. Its common name is somewhat deceptive since it is not in the three genera widely know as coneflowers (echinacea, lepachys or rudbekia).

This species is not as tall as the other coneflowers but may reach 3 feet. There may be two or three branches but often there are none. The deeply cut leaves are mostly at the base.

The bloom ranges from 1 to 3 inches wide with six to eight broad yellow rays that droop. The tall odd-looking center cone is where the tiny disk flowers are located.

Sioux and other Plains Indians crushed the blooms to make a yellow-orange dye. They also made a tea by brewing the blooms and leaves.

The older I get, the more I realize how little I really know about Almighty God. I believe a lot of things because I was reared in a religious tradition and have experienced many things on my journey.

But I do not know why He loves us so (John 3:16-17). He does not ask me to figure it out. He asks me to trust Him as Lord and Savior.

Satan wants us to think we've got God all figured out and our particular way is the "right" way. However, we must "Let God be God."

Apart from the Christmas and Easter accounts, most of our theological discourses using "proof texts," lead to division rather than the unity Jesus prayed for.

If you are not involved in a church, may I encourage you to find a fellowship of believers with concepts similar to your traditions, then serve others as Jesus taught in Matthew 25:35-36 -- feeding, clothing and ministering to people in need.

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.