Saving the Toxic Tulips of the Field — 16 Comments

  1. Maryleigh, there is much food for thought in this post and I’ll be thinking on this for days. The Corrie ten Boom quote is a powerful one. “Those who nursed their bitterness remained invalids. It was as simple and as horrible as that.” You have shared a beautiful and powerful lesson through the beauty of a tulip field. May the Lord work in my heart to make me willing and ready.

    • Praying along with you that instead of walking away from the toxic lost, God fill us with the courage to extend our hand to save them.

  2. Thanks be to God that we know the One who can walk into a situation and neutralize the toxicity with Truth. Thanks for encouraging us to stick close to him.

    • Praying that God help us both to see past the toxic behavior that makes us want to walk away to see what God sees and walk towards them with God’s heart.

  3. Dear Maryleigh,

    Your blog truly made me stop and think. I found it so thought-provoking that I ended up reading it twice. Thank you for sharing such valuable (spiritual) insights and good bibleverses and also a big thank you for the NICE (!!!) photos accompanying the text. I had no idea that tulips were actually toxic. It was quite surprising to learn about tuliposide. This information opened my eyes to a new aspect of tulips. However, it is important to note that not the entire tulip plant is toxic.

    Interestingly, your blog reminded me of a story my mother shared about her experiences during the Hunger Winter. She told me that they resorted to eating tulip bulbs as a desperate measure to survive. They would dig up the bulbs, cook or bake them to make them edible, and often mix them with other available ingredient to create a more nutritious meal. Bulbs out of the gardens were ending up in mashed potatoes or soup out of necessity. But the Nutrition Council advised in 1944 against eating hyacinth bulbs, as well as the bulbs of crocuses, hyacinths, and gladioli.Theu were indeed toxic. Eating tulip bulbs was not harmful.They had to eat it, they had nothing else.

    Once again, I want to express my gratitude for your blog. It not only provided me with new knowledge but also sparked meaningful reflections. Thank you for sharing your insights and for the wonderful storytelling. Love it.


    • Aritha, I am so blessed you came by. Thank you sharing your mother’s experience in the Hunger Winter and the tulip. In my research, the author’s talked about soldiers who ate the tulips in World War II and had stomach issues – though they are not known to have caused death. I can imagine that if that’s all I had to eat, I would definitely risk a stomach ache in order to fill it. I have long enjoyed how the history of the Dutch intertwines with the tulip! It is nice to meet you! Praying God’s Shalom in your daily! ~ Maryleigh

  4. —>> “If you are saying someone is toxic,what you are really saying is that you are not yet spiritually mature enough to walk into that mission field.” Wow! This is so true. This message is incredible Maryleigh. Your words are nourishingly insightful and wise. Tweeted, Pinned, and bookmarked.
    Visiting from #4&5

  5. Maryleigh, strong words of truth here!! I would say the word “toxic” has devolved given we use it to describe people created in the image of God. perhaps if we viewed them that way, we would be more likely to see them in need of a Savior rather than ignoring them.

    • Oh, Donna, how we need to see them in need of a Savior! Thanks for contributing to the conversation!

  6. So interesting, Maryleigh! I didn’t know tulips were toxic, and I really had not considered how bitterness could make us toxic as well. I know bitterness hurts the one who is bitter most. The object of their bitterness goes on and lives their lives not even realizing the suffering they have caused. May we each view each other as image-bearers who just are not mature yet. If we are true believers, He will complete the work and helps us to become love-filled.

    • Praying with you that we complete the work and open our hearts to help us to become love-filled!

  7. Maryleigh, you had me at that picture right up top. And the richness of your essay, the hard invitation, the need for discernment and healing. What a feast you’ve set before us. So much food for thought. So very much needed.

    Thank you for going there.

    • Thank you for going there with me. There’s a three-minute testimony on the writing of it – it was definitely a writing of obedience.

  8. I didn’t know this about tulips. Toxicity is around us in such a multitude of ways. May we try to purge it as we are able to live strong, healthy, loving lives!

  9. Maryleigh, this post . . . so thought-provoking and beautiful. I didn’t know tulips were toxic from root to petal. Wow. They’re beautiful flowers, but dangerous to human health. Even more, I love your reminder that God doesn’t call us to write off the toxic people in our lives. We may not be the ones to lead them to Jesus, but we can pray for them. Love them as we’re able. Be Jesus with skin on. You’ve got me thinking…

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