Chuck Terrill: Surprised by beauty

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

We moved into our home 9 months ago, and I have been mowing our back yard all summer long.

I was surprised, last week, by some beautiful flowers that suddenly appeared in my lawn. I had never seen them before and had mowed the spot where they are now thriving just two weeks before. It seems that they sprang up overnight. One day they weren't there, and the next day they were.   


I asked Mary to come outside and look at them. I asked her if she had planted them. She was just as surprised as I was. The flowers are growing on long, slender, green stems. They are about two feet tall, with beautiful pink to lavender blossoms, trimmed in white. It is obvious that they are lilies, but they do not have any foliage — no leaves of any kind.

Mary assured me that she had never seen them before, and took a picture of them with her smart phone. When we went into the house, she Googled the plants, and announced to me her findings: 

“Those lilies are Lycoris Squamigera, which are herbaceous plants with basal, simple leaves, which are not present when the flowers emerge from the crown,” she said. “The leaves sprout and grow in the spring, then die back during June. Then in late July or early August the flowers appear. The flowers are white or pink and fragrant. The flowers spring dramatically from the ground in mid to late summer. It usually takes only four to five days from first emergence to full bloom.

“This suddenness is reflected in its common names: Surprise Lily, Magic Lily and Resurrection Lily. They are also commonly referred to as ‘Naked Ladies.’”  

I considered this new information. I liked the idea of being surprised by beauty that I didn't know existed. It is just like God to give us an unexpected gift. Of course, He knew that the lilies were there. I didn't, or I would not have mowed them down before they appeared.

Next year, at the end of July, I will be careful not to mow where they are quietly growing. When you are given a gift, it is wise to appreciate that gift, especially when it is a gift from God. 

“What are you doing, now?” I asked Mary.   

“I am uploading the picture that I took of the lilies to post on my Facebook page,” she said. 

“When you post it, please call them Resurrection Lilies,” I requested. 

“Why is that?” she asked? 

“I like that name. It reminds me of the beauty of Jesus,” I said. “And besides that, I don't like the idea of our friends discovering that their pastor enjoys sniffing Naked Ladies.”  

“God has made everything beautiful in its time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) 

Chuck Terrill, who has doctorates from Master Theological Seminary and Trinity Seminary, is the senior minister at First Christian Church in Cassville. He may be reached at 471-847-2460.