Not Even Solomon

by DanWolgemuth on August 14, 2020

A brisk and energizing hike led to a beautiful and clear alpine lake. Ptarmigan Lake. And nestled in the rocks and roots along the way… the Giant red Indian paintbrush.

Against the rugged and rough, a splash of color and beauty. Delicate, yet durable and tough. A flower suitable for a wedding bouquet, yet isolated and underappreciated.

And while I relished the photo opportunity, I cherished the theology lesson. The theology of why?

Why this beauty? Why this brilliant splash of color against a monochromatic backdrop?

Quite simply, a flower that blooms on the Rocky Mountain hillside isn’t waiting for a crowd to appreciate its beauty. No. This flower blooms in unconstrained glory as an act of obedience to the Creator.

Is God waiting for a hiker to find His hidden treasure? Is God wringing His hands wondering if anyone will come along, or pay attention, or stop and appreciate?


A mountain flower blooms because that is what it was created to do. And when it does, there is unique glory extended to the Creator.

I am a spectator. There as a part of the awards ceremony. God revels as creation reveals. Yes, creation, every tiny and intricate bloom, every element of the fabulous Giant red Indian paintbrush deflects the laud and adoration back to the Maker, the Master, the Artist, the King.

His delight is their reward.

His glory is their objective.

Their beauty is His megaphone.

They wait for no one. They are not off stage until the crowd appears. They bloom, at times against the harshest of environments, because that is what they were made to do. It is not a tragedy that millions of flowers grow, bloom and then die without the observation of a single human being.  No, because they are observed by God Himself.  He delights in them.  And that is enough.

From seed to root to stem to leaf to bud to paintbrush bloom. For no one but the Creator.

Theology. An entry level course.

Humankind. God’s masterpiece. His crowning creation. Recipients of His breath. Image bearers. Diverse. Colorful. Beautiful.

Fragile egos and inflated self-images steal the glory that belongs only to the King. Only to the giver of life.

Is there a lesson to be learned? Does the rugged mountainside by Ptarmigan Lake offer a classroom?

Will I bloom without a crowd? Will I push color into my petals when no one is watching? Will I flourish without promotion? Will I shine without applause? Will I rest because my Creator is glorified in my obedience?

Giant red Indian paintbrush. Columbine. Lupine. Prickly poppy. Yarrow. Aspen fleabane.

A visual choir singing praises to God in perfect harmony.

A masterpiece without a brush stroke.

For a single audience. For a Holy God.

To His glory. Whether noticed, enjoyed or ignored.

Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. (Luke 12;27, NIV)

Not even Solomon.

The theology of why…

Soli Deo Gloria.

Glory to God… alone.

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