Daisies Psalm 103:15

A flower of the field.—Psa_103:15.

I was walking in my garden yesterday thinking about you and wondering where I could find a text when my eye lighted upon a daisy in the grass.

It was quite a baby daisy with a short stem, and I think it had just opened its eye, but it said to me, “Why not preach about me?” “Preach about you,” I said; “you are just a little common daisy. What could I find to say about you?” “Quite a lot,” replied the daisy, “if you will only listen. Besides, I am the little children’s flower. I love them and they love me. Do preach about me!”

“Very well,” I said, “I shall preach about you on one condition—that you allow me to pluck you and take you with me into the pulpit.” “Oh, that will be lovely,” cried the daisy. “I have never been in church in my life and I am sure none of my sisters have, though the insects who visit me tell me there are quite a number growing in the churchyard. It will be splendid to go into a pulpit and be a real, live text. Please take me.” So I plucked the daisy, and I have brought it with me as I promised, and I’m going to tell you something of what it said to me.

1. First I asked it how it came by its name, and what that name meant. And it told me that “daisy” just means the “day’s eye.” Long ago people gave it that name because it looks like the sun with the bright rays all round its golden heart, and also because it opens in the morning and closes in the evening. It closes when the sun sets or a cloud comes over the sun, lest the night dew or the rain should wash out the precious drops of honey which it stores in its golden heart.

And so the first message the daisy sends to the boys and girls is—keep in the sunshine. Look on the bright side of things.

There was a poor invalid woman once who came outside her door to get a breath of fresh air. And a man who was passing heard her speaking in a whining sort of voice about the weather. “Everybody says it’s a nice day,” she grumbled, “but I don’t see any niceness about it. It seems to me it’s pretty cold and raw, and the wind’s sharp and gets into your bones.” “Why of course it’s cold,” said the man, “if you sit in the shadow on the north side of the house. Come right over here into the sunshine. There’s plenty of it and to spare.”

Now there’s a bright side to most things if we only look for it, and the very best thing we can do is to look for it. Some people go about the world pulling long faces and looking very gloomy, but you don’t like to meet them. Well, don’t copy them. Keep looking on the bright side of things. Lay your hearts open to the sunshine like the daisy.

But there is another thing I should like you to notice. The daisy can’t open unless there is sunshine. Now there are some people in this world who are very grumpy and disagreeable. They shut up tight and nobody can get at them. Do you know what the reason is? Very often it is because they haven’t had enough sunshine in their lives. They aren’t very attractive, and nobody has taken much trouble to be kind to them or to love them, and so they have shut up tighter and tighter.

Well now, I’ll tell you what you can do. You can be sunbeams to the grumpy people. You can try to love them and be kind to them. God sees something beautiful in them, and perhaps, if you shine on them, they will unfold their petals and you will find that they have hearts of gold. Don’t you think it would be splendid to bring the sunshine to them and help to fill the world with so much hidden beauty?

2. The next thing the daisy told me about itself was that I was quite wrong in calling it “it.” It wasn’t an “it” at all but a “they.”

“I am not one flower,” it said, “but a great many little flowers all growing together on one stem. In what you have been pleased ignorantly to call my ‘heart’ there are about two hundred and fifty flowers, and each of the white rays round it is also a flower.”

“Dear me!” I exclaimed, “this is most amazing! You must all feel very uncomfortable packed up so tight. And don’t you ever quarrel? There are so many of you in such a small space.”

“Not a bit of it,” replied the daisy, “we get on exceedingly well together, and we help each other. You see it was like this. We were such very tiny flowers that we were afraid the insects wouldn’t notice us, and we depend on the insects to help the baby seeds to grow. They carry the yellow pollen dust from one flower to the other, and without that dust the seeds won’t grow. Of course we give the insects a drop of honey in exchange, so it is quite a fair bargain. Well, as I say, we were afraid the insects wouldn’t notice us, so we thought and thought until at last we hit upon a plan. We built a sort of platform at the top of the stem and then we agreed all to go and live together on the platform, so that when we were massed together we should make quite a good show. But still we weren’t conspicuous enough. So then the florets nearest the edge of the platform agreed to act as flags to attract the notice of the insects. They changed their color to white and grew one of their petals very long, and then, sure enough, the little insects came buzzing and fluttering round. But to do this the ‘ ray florets,’ as they call themselves, had to give up growing the baby seeds.” “And didn’t they mind?” I asked. “Oh no,” said the daisy, “they have found their happiness in helping others, and they are quite content.”
And so the next message the daisy sends you is— help one another.

Just think what the world would be like if you each had to do everything for yourself. You would have to build your own house, and make your own furniture, and cook your own food, besides making the pan to cook it with, and the knife and fork to eat it with, and the plate to eat it off. You would have to make your own clothes, and the cloth, and the thread, and needles to make them with. There would be no end to your work, and most of it would be badly done. We should be in a sad plight indeed if it were not for other people helping us. It is only when we all club together and each does his bit that we manage to get along at all. So each of us must be ready and willing to do his part.
There was an unfortunate boy once who had his day off on Thursday when other boys were working, and to work on Saturday when other boys were playing. That was hard luck, wasn’t it? And he used to say, “There’s no fun doing things by yourself.”

That is true. It’s much more fun working with other people and playing with them too, but I think we could go a little further and say, “It’s not much fun doing things for yourself.” It’s much more fun doing them for others, and the happiest people are those who, like the ray florets, are helping others.

3. Just one thing more. When I plucked the daisy I noticed that its leaves lay flat on the ground, so I asked the reason. “Oh,” it said, “it is partly that the cows and other animals may not eat us, but also because we must anchor well before we can grow. We must take firm hold of the ground before we send up our pretty pink-tipped flowers.”

And I thought the daisy was very like you and me. We must anchor well before we can grow the most beautiful flowers of our character. And there is only one place where we can take a sure hold. Can you guess where it is?