Poppies are one of those plants that I think about with every new spring when I begin to see the new plant varieties being introduced to the nursery trade. There are many garden worthy poppies being offered these days.
And then like many of the other plants I grow that offer such stunning beauty for our gardens and healing abilities to boot that can actually save lives...I'm reminded of the destructive dark side of these plants in the hands of humans stuck on the ravaged path of independence. Afghanistan comes to mind when I think of these poppies where they are grown for the Opium they produce and then used to produce heroin. The fallout caused by the addiction to this drug is just the tip of the iceberg. The economics of it all and the political powers that uses it for leverage just complicates things even more and destroys even more lives in the process.
And then I am reminded of another aspect of this destructive complicated dangerous game the world is caught up in. An adventure that takes something else so beautiful and healing and makes it nearly impossible for people to see. Bruce Cockburn refers to the blinding nature of it in his song Pacing The Cage....
Powers chatter in high places
Stir up eddies in the dust of rage
The combining of a nation state power and her flag with the cross of Jesus Christ might sound like a good idea to many. But if looked at a little closer, I think something far more troubling and sinister might have a chance of coming into view. With all this problematic mixture that has been created...how are people to see the lamb that is as white as snow?
U2 does a wonderful job capturing the misery caused by deferred hoped and the difficulty of people actually seeing the One we all are in need of seeing and how often we are the very ones that make him harder for others to see as we collude with the powers that are constantly kicking up dust and fear and in the process distorting the love and grace of the Lamb as white as snow.