St. Patrick is one of the best-known saints to people because on March 17 around the world, people celebrate his birth. Chicago plumbers dye the river green for five hours. People wear green or orange, march in parades and celebrate Irish culture. But who was St. Patrick? He was actually born of Romanized British parents in Scotland or Wales in 385 and died 17 March 461. He was not Irish! He was captured as a teenager and taken to Ireland as a slave, working among pigs. He escaped being warned in a vision and returned home but after another vision returned to Ireland to tell people about Christ. Legend has it that he raised people from the dead by prayer, prayed a herd of pigs to appear for staving people, and explained the Trinity, the three-ness of the one true God by using the shamrock. It is less likely that he rid Ireland of snakes. He was not well educated but wrote Confessio in Latin with a vulnerability about his faith second only to Augustine.
The shamrock with its three leaves but one stem is usually on the icon of St. Patrick. The word diversity comes to mind as I think about the shamrock. Our God made trees but in many different shades of gree. People are born in all shades of color with so many different languages with which they communicate. Who is to say a rose is more beautiful than an orchid? The shamrock speaks not only to the Trinity, the Three-in-One God but also to the multiple and diverse ways that God speaks into our existence and makes himself known. And perhaps as amazingly, many varieties of trees can live together in a forest. Many varieties of vegetables grow side by side in a garden. Many kinds of birds and animals bless our life each day. Our God is able to speak and resolve the issues in our lives in ways we have yet to image. Today I thank God for reminding me of that truth seen in the shamrock. D is for ….., I is for ……, V is for ….., S is for….., and E is for ……. Many blessings as you journey with a God who is Creator, Savior, and Enlightener today.