I remember the first time I was old enough to notice the wildflowers in a fancy vase on our kitchen table. One of my older sisters had picked them from a pasture to give to my mom, she doted over them and dubbed them worthy of her beautiful glass. After that day, I thought the most meaningful thing I could do for her was to pick as many flowers as I could find and bring them to the house. My mom never will admit her favorite color, it must be her old Norwegian blood that causes her to be neutral on the subject and to simple state "I like all of the colors." She always made time to noticed what I'd picked. I thought she had an affinity to the purple flowers I'd bring in so I'd try to pick the most of them.
One day, and I'm not even sure how it all came about, I heard one of my siblings telling another one that the "wildflowers" I was bringing in were just weeds. I was absolutely crushed that day and I'm sure I didn't pick my mom more flowers for a long time after that. What I had thought were the most beautiful of plants were just old weeds.
I can now laugh at my weed story because the plants I had picked really were just that, flowering weeds that weren't welcome or good for much of anything. I hadn't thought about those weed bouquets until a few days ago when I was pulling my niece around in her little red wagon. We were out on a dirt road on their ranch when she got an excited tone in her 21 month old voice "pretty flowers, pretty flowers!" We stopped right away to look at the same weeds I'd picked for my mom so long ago. She immediately insisted that we needed to pick these "pretty flowers" to take back to the house for her mom, and we did. Not only was there wild mustard and yarrow we had dandelion flowers as well. When my niece had picked more weeds than even I could hold, we started back toward the house in the little red wagon. That's when I realized that this weed picking girl had a bigger heart than so many people who were grown up and well trained in how to have a big heart, but hadn't quite reached that point. As we pulled into the driveway my sister came right out to the wagon and began to sing her daughter's praises. She'd spotted our wildflowers from far away and was already prepared to proudly display them.
After that, I spent some time thinking about the way that these "wildflower" picking times happen everyday in my life. Sometimes I let my idealistic view of everything rule out people or circumstances that might not go along with the way I think things should be. I should be much more like my mom was with those "wildflowers" though. Always ready to see the good in what others are doing even if things aren't completely perfect. God is our best example for accepting people and understanding their heart's intents. After all, I'm far from perfect so who am I to sort wildflowers from weeds in the lives of others.