“Why are you painting this Rafflesia? Why don’t you paint other pretty flowers?”
“Why not? I think it’s fascinating and interesting.”
“But it’s so ugly!!”
“But God also created it – so it must be good!”
This summed up my conversation with my daughter as i started to paint the Rafflesia.
Last week, while waiting for the bus and thinking what to paint next, the Lord brought to my mind the Rafflesia. Frankly, i would never have thought about painting it. I’ve seen a replica of it at the zoo with the children when they were young, and it was so fascinating that i’ve never forgotten about it.
The parasitic Rafflesia Arnoldi is the world’s largest flower, and may grow to a diameter of more than 100cm, and weigh up to 10kg. It has no stems, leaves or roots. It takes nine months for the flower to bloom, but lasts only a week. When it blooms, it emits a stench of rotting meat which attracts flies to pollinate it. It is so rare that no one can predict when it blooms, and many attempts to cultivate it have been unsuccessful.
It’s fascinating how God can create something so ugly and smelly, yet beautiful and rare in itself. God also created each of us so unique. By worldly standards, we may appear ugly, but in His eyes, we are always beautiful.
“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. Isiah 1:18 (NIV)
Though my sins may be scarlet, and the stench of my sins be overpowering, yet His Blood cleanses me and His death gives me New Life.
PS Oops! i forgot to paint in the flies!