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Tulips and Dandelions

At this time of the year, the annual Canadian Tulip Festival that takes place in Ottawa draws tourists from all over. It is the largest tulip festival in the world.

Historically, Ottawa's tulip tradition dates back after World War II when the Dutch government and royal family donated over 100,000 tulip bulbs to Canada as a gesture of gratitude for its help during the war. Each year, the Dutch royal family still sends 20,000 bulbs to Canada. [ottawastart.com]

The tulip, also known by its Latin name, tulipa, is a beautiful flower. This bulbous plant is very popular.

As millions of tulips begin to blossom again, they create a very attractive bed of color and beauty - purple, pink, red, yellow, white, orange and other colors. I can stare at them for hours and never get tired.

In this same season, dandelions also begin to grow. These yellow small flowers glow lovely and golden in the spring sun.

But although they can be pretty and fun, only a few people consider them desirable in the spring. They are considered as toxic weeds or herbicides because they can choke a green lawn to death as they take over it pretty fast. Largely, that is the reason most people would rather not have them in their yard, so they weed them out.

These tiny yellow flowers also easily wilt once they are picked. When they wilt, their white seeds float through the air and the seeds fall into the ground from where new ones begin to grow. They propagate by themselves. It only takes one dandelion plant to make more.

But many do not realize the health benefits from dandelion. Its roots are used as a good liver tonic. It can be used as a mild laxative to help relieve constipation and as a treatment for anemia because of its high iron and zinc content. Dandelion roots are also rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin A and the B complex vitamins, all of which have antioxidant properties. This little weed many consider as a pest has a lot of other health benefits.

The tulips and dandelions are like us. We see others as tulips, beautiful and radiant people. We adore them and fight for them at all cost. While we look up to the beauty of the tulips, we view others as mere dandelions. We ignore them and reduce them into insignificance. We judge and compare them to what a mighty "tulip person" can do. We don't see their value at all because we are carried away by the beauty of the "tulips." Intentionally or not, we use our tongue to "weed out" others whom we consider as "dandelions."

In the eyes of God, the dandelion is at equal footing with the tulip, created though with a different purpose. Small as it is, remember that the humble dandelion is capable of taking over a green yard fast. Lest we forget, sometimes God uses the least of all people to accomplish a great purpose.

St. Paul says it all in 1 Corinthians 12:18, "As it is, however, God put every different part in the body just as He wanted it to be." He reminds us that each person in the body of Christ is important.

We can either be a tulip or a dandelion. It doesn't matter. God has a purpose for each one of us.

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