In which there are 1 white, and 1 black, and 2 purple daisies

by Craig on June 21, 2011

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It’s a good day to pick biblical daisies.

For anyone just now joining this Bible study, the short of it is…

works = daisies

the long version (reading time about 3 minutes) is here. If this is your first day of daisy picking, please go there, or this will make little sense.

Now the daisies of the day…

From the 6th and 7th chapters of John…

First, there was the feeding of thousands with fish and bread – although not an official daisy for counting purposes, I think we can safely call it purple.

It was a big miracle and all the people hearted it.

Then the next day Our Lord explains to them that the only reason they were following him was because of his purple daisies. And also that they shouldn’t be so concerned with the daily bread of life – but The. Bread. Of. Life.

They needed more of him,
but they wanted something else.

Two daisies present themselves in the text…

One purple…

So they said to him, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” (JN 6:28)

One white…

Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.” (JN 6:29)

Jesus tells them not to worry so much about the purple ones, but rather, to pay attention to the white daisy of faith.

And after studying the book of James for months, and translating it from beginning to end, I hear James clearly when he says (my paraphrase)

“the white daisy of faith,

without corresponding daisies

is dead”.

Faith is more than just “believing”…

faith is doing the white daisies…

imperfectly, but the best we can.

I think it’s because the purple daisies of Our Lord brought in such big numbers, that his brothers, who did not believe in him – James among them…

wanted him to go to Jerusalem…
the big stage…
to show them big purple daisies.

I think also that our Lord knew when the right time was to go to Jerusalem. And at that time they wouldn’t get big purple daisies. They would get the biggest one – and most of them would refuse to believe that it was purple at all.

Two more daisies…

One purple…

So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples also may see the works you are doing.” (JN 7:3)

One black…

“The world … hates me, because I testify to it that its works are evil.” (JN 7:7)

The thing is that any imperfection in a daisy – in the eyes of a perfect God – makes it incomplete and inadequate.

Yesterday I discovered that only the daisies of Our Lord are truly white.
Even the best of our white daisies is only white-ish.

Today I find…

that Our Lord says…

that white-ish…

is…

in effect…

source

black.

That’s sobering…

That’s an entirely hopeless situation…

Unless…

there is grace…

And…

There. Is. Grace.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Cora June 21, 2011 at 10:08 am

This just so moved me, Craig. I was concentrating so hard, getting my daisies right, and then you swept my heart off my perch —- with grace! What is it about that word?????? The older I get, the more blubbery and soft I get about it. I feel like my grandmother who cried everytime she said to me, “He loves you so much, Cora!” Now I understand her. So now I take off my tinted glases, see my not-so-perfect white daisy has been black all along, I try to wash the black off and it doesn’t work, along comes the pure red washing of grace, and now God sees my black (washed-red) daisy as pure white. I’m really shuffling daisies here, but I have this big smile on my face!!!!! I get it!

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Craig June 21, 2011 at 12:30 pm

I’m trying my best to hold out final decisions on “works” and faith until I can use all the context that we’re discovering. Then we can have a complete biblical definition. We’ll have our bouquet in hand – and then the final answer. But today – it was surprising to see Our Lord Come right out and say that any Daisy – even the best ones – all the daisies in the world are not pure white – and are therefore – black. But then grace…

God bless you Cora!

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Dawn June 21, 2011 at 11:36 am

Dear Craig,

When I read “Even the best of our white daisies is only white-ish.” and what you meant by that, I immediately thought of the church of Laodicea when John writes about them in Revelation. Because they were just hot-ish (neither cold nor hot), He said he would spit them out of his mouth (lukewarm = yuk). We are truly never good enough without the red.

In His grace,
Dawn

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Craig June 21, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Amen Dawn. Lukewarm doesn’t cut it – even hot doesn’t cut it – blazing hot like the sun doesn’t cut it – only perfection. Bless his heart for grace. Bless his heart for that single. red. rose. God bless you Dawn!

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Cindy Holman June 21, 2011 at 3:51 pm

So glad for that grace. We are nothing without it. Love the pink daisy – it’s ME!

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Craig June 21, 2011 at 3:57 pm

It’s not pink! It’s sitting here right on my table – because I took that picture myself – and it’s purple. I know I’m a guy and all – but it really seems purple – in my metaphor there are no pink daisies – there’s a pink tank – or bulldozer as some call it – but no pink daisies. I could be wrong though – I am only – you know – a guy and all. God bless you Cindy :)

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Cindy Holman June 21, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Oh come on Craig! It’s more pink than purple – but it is both I suppose – I see only the pink :)

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Craig June 22, 2011 at 9:08 pm

okay Cindy – if you say they’re pink – than they’re pain – enough said :-)

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Debbie June 22, 2011 at 1:11 am

I feel so relieved that my daisies are covered by His grace. phew. :)
God bless you and your daisy picking!

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Craig June 22, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Amen Debbie, our white-ish daisies are covered by grace – and as bumbling, and stumbling as our efforts in the quest for perfection can be – I know God hearts them. God bless you Debbie.

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Layla Payton June 23, 2011 at 10:55 pm

It’s pink, friend. 😉

But, seriously, I will never look at daisies in the same way again. This is fantastic!

As a Believer, we don’t have to worry about plucking the petals, and saying, “He loves me, He loves me not.” He covers our white-ish daisies with His red one. HE LOVES US!

~GRACE~

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Craig June 24, 2011 at 11:57 am

it’s not pink!!! It’s purple!!!!! There are NO PINK DAISIES!!!! :-)

My deep into love blog is pink. :-)

And daisies were just the perfect metaphor for the study – so I know the idea didn’t come from me. And you missed it a while back – but his Grace? I called that a red rose – technically it’s not a daisy :-)

It was a joy to see you down here in my comment section friend.

God bless you Layla.

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A. June 28, 2011 at 11:33 am

You and Layla-so funny! Red and white does make pink, now, doesn’t it? :)

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