Spots and wrinkles

Spotted and mottled foliage can be a good thing, but not always. One of my zinnias had an intricate spotted appearance from a disease know as Alternaria Leaf Spot.

A garden visitor who observed the telltale black-edged white spots remarked that the leaves would be considered pretty if this were a healthy plant. People would pay extra just for the unusual appearance. It’s true. Plant collectors like myself often prize spots or mottled appearance.

A Jack Frost Brunnera is a mottled form of an old garden favorite and is much more pricey than the standard solid green foliage of the original False Forget-Me-Not. Canna lilies with striped foliage are valued more than their plain counterparts.

Wrinkled and crinkled foliage is also more highly esteemed in such plants as Hosta and Begonia. Be prepared to spend twice or three times the money on such specimens at the garden centers!

The world often glorifies the wrong kinds of spots and wrinkles. The popular television show “Dancing With the Stars” has featured dancing which, in another time, might have won promises of half the kingdom from a lecherous king. Video games such as Grand Theft Auto make stealing seem like the fun and trendy thing to do.

Our culture is celebrating a rise in immoral sexual unions such as gay marriage, multiple spouses, and now even a father/daughter marriage. Shoplifting is on the rise, and now when people are angry at a perceived injustice, they are allowed to loot businesses that had nothing to do with the alleged wrongdoing.

Such things are now held up as a good example, often in the name of so-called diversity. High-ranking officials use the term “payback” to excuse blatant illegal activity. Is this kind of diversity and revenge a good thing?

These new wrinkles are to be abhorred and are clearly condemned in scripture. They are unhealthy in every way, even more so than the fairly benign blight that affected the leaves on my zinnias. Looking for some new wrinkle or spot just to be different or innovative is just seeking out spiritual sickness.

The bride of Christ has no spot or wrinkle or any such thing (Ephesians 5:27). If the church is to be acceptable in God’s sight, she won’t be wrinkling her wedding gown by every type of so-called diversity that can be imagined.

The prophet Jeremiah preached to the nation of Israel the need for holding on to the good, ancient ways, instead of trying out every new wrinkle.

“Thus says the Lord,
‘Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths,
Where the good way is, and walk in it;
And you will find rest for your souls’” (Jeremiah 6:16a, NASB).

While we admire the puckered, wrinkled, and spotted things in our gardens, let’s keep our spiritual lives “unspotted from the world” (James 1:27, NKJV).

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