Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

For His Kindness is Everlasting

These delicate wildflowers, which are blooming now, are called bluets. They seem to be native to the North East Pennsylvania river lands. Quaker Ladies and Innocence are their lovely local names.

As close to the ground as they are found, they can be seen from a distance in dense patches, or if left alone in a lawn they can form impressive sprays of pink, white, lavender or blue. 

Here they get to bloom only a short while before the tractor takes them down with the first lawn cutting. But this year I successfully (!) moved two good-sized clumps of white and lavender bluets just a few feet where they will be safe from the mower and realized that, as with so many of the very lovely forest flowers, their root systems are shallow, found just below the soil line.

What a delight this year watching the forest green, seemingly from bottom to top, and paying close attention to the tremendous flower-fern variety found there. The woods were packed with thick ice this past winter and still the native flowers, with their shallow root systems, are appearing with vigor. So this spring I've recognized the forest as an image of  our own stories of survival.

Perhaps as the Easter time draws to a close we might call to mind some particular story of survival in our own lives or family life. That we have survived:

  • family alcoholism
  • domestic violence
  • life threatening illness
  • accident
  • sex abuse
  • depression
  • suicide attempt
  • a broken heart
  • war
  • an attack
  • mental illness 
  • imprisonment
  • loneliness
  • failure
  • addiction

As life goes, we're as vulnerable as a bunch of shallow-rooted bluets in a severe winter. O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his kindness is everlasting. Psalm 106:1


  1. After suffering a violent attack years ago, I saw just how shallow my roots were and how hard it was to grow again. Even now after much healing and therapy I feel aa though my roots will never grow deep. But I am thankful for the nurturing along the way. Your post should remind all those out there that we are as vulnerable as these wildflowers. But unlike them, we can help ourselves with some guidance.

  2. We can help ourselves with guidance - yes, for sure - and the plants often thrive with a little help too: I take away things that are obstructing their growth, I give them a tiny bit of fertilizer or a drink if they are dry, even transplanting them to a safer spot. And sometimes the best we can do is learn to live with 'shallow roots'. God bless you in your recovery and restoration.

  3. I imagine you have saved many vulnerable people along the way, not just the bluets. Your metaphor fits me perfectly. I pray for regrowth with even the shallowest of roots. This post will be my fertilizer. God bless you Father Morris for understanding our life struggles.

    1. The MOST beautiful flowers grow with the shallowest of roots.

  4. Coming home from work today I was reading this and thought how very true it all is. You don't need deep roots but only to thrive with what we have. And if we find ourselves uprooted we need to find better ground. All of it is possible through faith in ourselves and faith in God's love. Even faith in knowing when to ask for help.

  5. I want to express my gratitude for your encouraging words. Never take for granted thr impact they have on those who read them. Sometimes they come at exactly the right time as this reflection did. And I really do think that you write from within for I feel the intensity and emotion translate through.

  6. You leave people in a fragile state, but this is most obvious after the fact, when their usefulness is complete to you. I will give thanks to the Lord for my survival of abuse and abandonment.

    1. Highly recommended: Henri Nouwen's Wounded Healer.