Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Beauty of Sakura (Japanese Cherry Blossom)

Cherry Blossoms in Ueno park along with the thousand of people.
Sakura (Cherry Blossom) with a Pagoda in the Background.
A close up of the blossom.
When I enter Heaven, I hope to see the beautiful Sakura there.
The Japanese love the Cherry Blossoms. The Sakura bloom in the Spring and sadly, their glory only lasts about a week. (I wish they could last a month or more.) There is even a group that "chase" the bloom of the cherry blossom. They start in the south and then work their way to the north. The Japanese come out by the millions to see these trees in various parks around the country. They put tarps down and have picnics under the tent of blossoms. You can't see it in the pictures but people are squeezed in close underneath the trees. Here they laugh, drink, and relax. Which is rare for the Japanese. I may be silly, but I see this Sakura season as the Lord giving grace and mercy to these people. I see the blossoming of the trees as the Lord's deep love for these people who don't know Him. He calls them out to sit beneath His creation and to give them a time of rest. He showers them with beauty and beckons them. He is the True Giver who mercifully gives even if those who receive the gift don't acknowledge Him.

To the Japanese, the Sakura are a strong symbol of the breath of a life against time. Meaning, once we bloom we are only here for a short while to make it beautiful. I love this analogy. It is another way that the Lord teaches His lessons through His creation. He uses the grape vine, the fig tree, the mountains, the valleys, the deserts, and on and on to teach us about His character and His nature. I pray that the Japanese's hearts would be captured by the beauty of God in His world and that they would see that it is the Lord who has made all these things. They do appreciate nature and creation but they turn and give thanks to false gods. I pray the Lord would rip through this deception and instead they would worship Jesus for the beauty of His world. Please pray with me for this. Amen!