Tiny flowers grow in ragged cracks
Among the mountain's jagged rocks.
Within the flaws on mountains steep
They raise their fragile, emerald stalks.
They cannot grow on faces smooth,
Not weathered by the strains of age,
But wait until the place is right
Away from fearful storms that rage.
The cracking seems an evil thing
With stresses, strain and often harm,
And year by year the rock discovers
Flaws which grow to cause alarm.
And yet...
The rock reveals a character
Which by itself it had not known,
But finds itself in bright array;
An awesome beauty not its own.
Tiny violets grant their being
To animate the lifeless land,
And thus, the flowers add their hue
To lend the mountain scene a hand.
Without distress the rock remains
A lifeless, stark and empty form.
No browse for tiny creatures here,
No shelter from the raging storm.
No stresses mean no fissures.
And you,
You too, just like the rock,
Are weathered by life's awesome storm.
Not ice and snow, but pain and grief
Contribute to the ragged form.
Your life is changed by trials and tests;
The stuff of life requires its due--
Those things that come along the way
And ever threaten to undo.
With testing comes a growing place
For flowers bright of gold and blue:
Love, hope, joy, patience, peace,
Grace and kindness grow there, too.
And thus,
Without a site for fertile soil,
These would not grow so bold and bright,
Nor find a place to rest their seeds
Upon a life not shaped so right.
The stress that seems today so great
Will someday form the resting place
Of graces shining in the light
Of setting sun upon that face.
And as the light of life is waning,
And you greet the One who's reigning,
The flowers growing in that deeply
    furrowed brow...
Will be transformed into the jewels
    that glitter in your golden crown.
Lauren Lilly, 1993