I have been reading slowly through 'The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which I enjoyed as a teenager and was very happy to receive as a gift this Christmas!
Sherlock Holmes is amazing because of his powers of deduction, figuring out all kinds of things about people from small details in their clothing and what they are carrying.
The other day I was delighted as I came across a part where he uses those same abilities to deduce the character of God from a simple rose:
'There is nothing in which deduction is so necessary as in religion,' said he, leaning with his back against the shutters. 'It can be built up as an exact science by the reasoner.
Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance.
But this rose is an extra. It's smell and its colour are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers.'
Isn't that a wonderful thought? If you think about it, most things on the earth are for our use - trees we use for paper, and for firewood, animals are for food, our own organs are there for useful reasons.
But flowers are a lovely decoration - an extra that God put there to bless us with beauty, which shows the kindness and goodness of God :)
As a sidenote, I am turning comments off for a while, but you are welcome to contact me via e-mail, facebook or twitter and I will try to add a contact page soon for that purpose.