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Thoughts of Purple, Thoughts of Purpose: A Poem by India Wheeler

“This summer I had a camper who accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior about halfway through our two-week session of girls camp at Mt. Berry. She came to me in tears as we neared the session’s end, worried about what people would think of her and the decision that she had made to follow Christ. I listened to her thoughts and fears, and a picture came to mind that I proceeded to paint for her:

I told her to image a single flower—tall, firm, strong. I described its radiant stance and its blossoming into something beautiful and strong through its sprouting from the dirt. ‘Would that bold flower worry about what other flowers thought of her?’ I asked. ‘No she wouldn’t,’ my camper replied with an understanding smile. Giving her the opportunity to step into the flower’s shoes, I asked, ‘What color would you be?’ She smiled and whispered, ‘Purple.’ Rather than even the brightest of yellows, she chose a holy, royal, vibrant color—purple.

That night, our worship speaker, Kat, and I talked with this sweet camper about what bold faith looks like. Kat and I wanted this precious girl to know that, like the purple flower, she could proclaim her faith with courage and peace. Recently, I received a letter from this camper, and it ended with: ‘I will keep being that purple flower.’ Until now, I have always passed purple flowers without even a glance, but now I see purpose behind a simple sight. I can no longer walk past a purple flower without stopping and thinking of camp sweet camp.”

inspirational poem

Thoughts of Purple, Thoughts of Purpose

My young but bold camper,

Ten years of age,

Shared worries and shed tears,

Her heart troubled.

“What might they think of me?”

Thoughts crossed her mind.

“How can I share my faith?”

Her heart wrestled.

“Oh dear child, have no fear.”

First, listening.

Then quiet pondering,

My mind racing.

This picture I painted

And shared with joy.

 

One intriguing flower

Stood tall, firm, near.

From a sprout to beauty,

She burst from soil.

Her petals were gleaming,

Radiant stance.

Questions of doubt, worry

Never crossing her mind.

“What am I in their eyes?”

She dare not ask.

For she was bright and good

Fearfully made, wonderfully made.

“And now my child,

Just like the strong flower,

You can be bold.

What color might you be?”

Now she could step

Into the flower’s shoes.

Her smile was soft

As she whispered “purple.”

Purple, purple—

Holy, royal, vibrant.

Oh the thought of flowers,

Radiant, flourishing,

Purple and bold.

I myself discovered

Meaning, purpose

Behind a simple sight,

A purple sight.

A gentle reminder

Of what we are—

Like the purple flower,

Bold, firm, near, strong.

Our faith we can proclaim

With courage, peace.

Many times I had passed

Purple flowers

Without even a glance.

Yet now I see

Simple turning complex.

Yet now I see

Plainness reaching beauty.

Yet now had I

Reason to stop and stare.

Yet now had I

A bold story to share.

Happier a color

I cannot find

Brightest of yellows

Will not provide

What purple flowers hold.

A story, a purpose,

Intricate joy.

Lavender, Bellflower,

Lily of Nile,

Wild Indigo, Lupine

Wisteria,

Foxgloves, Lilac, Sweet Pea,

Morning Glory.

So many purple joys,

Petals aglow.

Stop and smell the flowers.

How can you say ‘no’?

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