Does anything draw in quite like the daffodil—to all that is bright to behold? Their little trumpets seem to loudly proclaim spring joy and the sweet relief of flowers returning to the earth. Bursting sunshine in a flower, flourishing hopes of all sorts…All hail, in this week of Happy Spring, daffodil’s bold appeal to be encouraged by their triumphal display!
Daffodils in the Bible? Not really
Daffodils as we know and enjoy them are not truly a “flower of the field” from the Bible. However, a diminutive relative from the Narcissus genus, the well-adored, more modest Narcissus tazetta has flourished since ancient times in the meadows and pastures of Israel. N. tazetta, commonly known as narcissus, appear as a bouquet of mini-daffodils, with several blossoms per stem, showy in a more nuanced way as they naturalize and create drifts, wafting a light, welcoming scent in early spring. While scholars debate the specific detail of narcissus’ Scriptural debut, it is generally agreed that somewhere in the floral display of Isaiah’s arid wastelands (Isaiah 35:1-2) and Solomon’s garden sanctuary (Song of Songs 2:1-3), narcissus flowers delighted and uplifted all who gazed with glee after long seasons of want and wait.
Nuance in Narcissus
We are going to explore such nuance, then, in honor of narcissus—that subtle draw of a person to Christ by gentle grace, by captivating beauty, by compelling drift of loving-kindness. God does not force His way but gives his people time and space to take notice. May we become one who beckons others to the good and gorgeous life that Christ flourishes in the saved soul. Such expression requires restraint, not a bold, daffodil-like march with trumpets, but a whisper-drift, narcissus-style, beginning with a warm smile.
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.
James 4:8 ESV
Listen, friends, to some fatherly advice; sit up and take notice so you’ll know how to live. I’m giving you good counsel; don’t let it go in one ear and out the other.
Proverbs 4:1-2 The Message
I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them.
Hosea 11:4 NIV
Naomi told her daughter-in-law, “The Lord bless him! The Lord still continues to be kind to all people—the living and the dead!” Then Naomi told Ruth, “Boaz is one of our close relatives, one who will take care of us.”
Ruth 2:20 ICB
Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.
Zechariah 4:6 NIV
…the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
1 Peter 3:4 NIV
And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her.
Esther 2:15 NIV
The lifestyle of good people is like sunlight at dawn that keeps getting brighter until broad daylight.
Proverbs 4:18 CEV
The Lord isn’t slow to do what he promised, as some people think. Rather, he is patient for your sake. He doesn’t want to destroy anyone but wants all people to have an opportunity to turn to him and change the way they think and act.
2 Peter 3:9 GW
Yes, the Day is coming when people will notice The One Who Made Them
Isaiah 17:7 The Message
Let Faith Flourish! is a Lenten series on “flowers of the field”— crown anemones, chamomile, tulips, lilies, narcissus, 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!