When I was four years old, my preschool teacher was Mrs. J. I don't remember a whole lot else from preschool, but I remember that blue and yellow makes green. I remember that you can make play dough out of flour and water. And I remember the dandelions.
When it was warm enough outside, we spent time playing in Mrs. J's backyard. (She was usually inside, as I remember it, making play dough out of flour and water.) There were patches of dandelions next to her old wooden fence. My four-year-old mind did not consider these dandelions weeds. My four-year-old hands did not hold them as if they were valueless. I remember noticing the juxtaposition of the bright yellow petals next to the deep green of the grass. I remember examining many of them individually, how some of them had more petals than others, how some of the petals curled in while others stuck straight out, how some of the petals criss-crossed, how some of the stems courageously brought the flowers almost up to my four-year-old knees while others kept the flowers safely close to the ground. These were not weeds; they were art.
We would often pick these dandelions in large numbers and take our bouquets inside. We would proudly present them to Mrs. J. I remember her bringing out small paper cups, filling them part way with water, placing the dandelions in them, and putting them on the window sill in her kitchen to enjoy the sun. The dandelions weren't weeds to her, either.
Christ sees me like I saw dandelions as a child. I am not a weed. I am something He notices the individuality of, something He gathers, something He presents to others in a way for them to appreciate. He sees beauty where others cannot.
16 years later, it's Spring in Provo. I often walk past front yards filled with dandelions. I remember back to the spot next to the fence in Mrs. J's backyard, and to the paper cups lining her kitchen window. I continue now, as I did when I was four years old, to not only consider the lillies, but also the dandelions.