When a friend invites you to a cup of tea, implicit in the invitation is cozy company. Whether served in dainty, floral teacups or stout, oversized mugs, hot tea warrants lingering to let drinks cool, and sipping seems to slow time’s passing. Thoughts seem gently encouraged to rise up from deep in the heart in steamy drifts. The simmered leaves or herbs almost create a place for visiting, to share views, inviting intimate understanding.
Now imagine keeping this company with the Lord; what intimate understanding would he reveal? And imagine if the tea were chamomile?! One of the “flowers of the field” that frequent His Word, mentioned in Psalm 103, where we are reminded…
…forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities…
for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
Psalm 103:2-18 NIV
Chamomile Tea from the Garden
Israel’s chamomile, Anthemis palestina, begins its early spring bloom in March. Founders of Neot Kedumim, Israel’s Biblical Landscape Reserve, nicknamed the humble flower “white spring,” and identified this as the flower to which Jesus referred when he looked upon “flowers of the field (Matthew 6:28).”
The variety I grow that is closest to the holy land flower is Roman chamomile, which blooms in May in our Texas garden. If I can remember to harvest flowers to dry for tea…well, that is my hope! Mainly I delight in watching the bright-centered blooms in their fleeting moments in the garden, and gather tea bags from the store during the winter months—a cup of reminder of their sweet-but-short show, soon to return.
For advice on the uncomplicated practice of drying these “flowers of the field” for homegrown tea, follow these links:
For growing a chamomile lawn: Create a Chamomile Lawn
Keep His Company
Keep company with these Words this week, tuck them into a tea bag, so to speak, and let them steep in your thoughts and displace worry.
Keep company with God, get in on the best.
Psalm 37:4 The Message
Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.
Matthew 11:30 The Message
Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love.
Ephesians 5:2 The Message
Let Faith Flourish! is a Lenten series on “flowers of the field”— crown anemones, chamomile, narcissus, tulips, lilies, and poppies. In these flower-filled weeks ahead, as our landscapes wake up in spring’s gentle warming and fill with in bloom and blossom, may worry be displaced with the Word of the Lord. May the true flourish of the Lenten season be in our faith!
For more on growing chamomile, see our Plant Guide:
©2017-18 Shelley S. Cramm