JOHNNY-JUMP-UP Viola tricolor

As I have matured, I have tried to see events from more than my personal perspective. What about the perspective that the other people in a given situation may have felt?

Let’s return to the Christmas story as an example. I have been fascinated by what must have gone through Mary’s mind when the angel announced her pregnancy. And then there is Joseph, who must have wrestled with what to do about Mary and her baby.

What about the shock that the smelly, low-class shepherds must have felt when they received the angelic message of the baby? And on and on one’s mind can go trying to get into the emotional workings of each participant.

That is my point. We wrestle with all the human participants with grand speculation, but what about God? The promised Messiah, His only Son, was introduced into the human race as a baby. Yes, a baby, vulnerable to all the whims and schemes of fallible people. The Almighty Father gave up His control of His only son to Mary, Joseph, shepherds, inn keepers, foreign kings from the East, self-righteous Hebrews, and even the heathen of Egypt.

I dare not try to come up with a description of what God was feeling, except that He must have felt helpless. Why had He chosen this way making Himself vulnerable to fickle humanity? John 3:16 answers our question when it says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son...”


Viola tricolor

When we realize the extreme to which the Almighty Father went for our redemption, our hearts should jump for joy. May the humble wildflower, Johnny-jump-up, remind you of the loving Heavenly Father who wants to put a smile on your face.

These small fellows look like serious little pansies when, in fact, they are violets. The plant stands 3 to 5 inches and has prolific blooms.

The five petals that make up the blossom form a “face” that measures 1 1/2 inches across. The two top petals are like deep purple Mickey Mouse ears that slightly overlapped in the middle.

The two middle petals have purple marks at the center that look like eyes. The fringes of these small petals are purple and the portions around the “eyes” are light yellow.

The bottom petal is large, like the “ears” but more elongated. Although there is only one petal, sometimes there is a dimple that suggests there might be two. The markings are similar to the smaller, middle petals, but vertical purple markings give the appearance of a scraggly beard.

The Johnny-jump-up reproduces by seed. The fruit is a “berry” that dries and explodes, scattering the seeds. This variety of violet starts blooming in April and continues through August.

Once again, I dare not try to come up with a description of what God was feeling except that He must still feel helpless. Jesus dwelt among us, died for us and lives today that we may come and dwell with Him; however either so many refuse to believe or too many refuse to share the blessings without regard for culture, community, nation or race.

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Orrin Morris is a retired Baptist minister, local artist and art teacher. To purchase a two-volume set of books featuring his wildflower columns, visit The Sketching Pad in Olde Town Conyers, or call 770-929-3697 or text 404-824-3697. Email him at

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