Tag Archives: Beauty

The danger and beauty of thistle people

Milk thistle flowerhead
Image via Wikipedia

Have you seen a thistle up close?  They are nasty looking.  This green spined weed visually displays its ability to defend itself from one and all.  With a tiny wisp of purple rising above the flowered spines, one can image inner beauty but why investigate more? When other flowers hold outer beauty and wonderful smells, it would seem silly to waste time on a thistle.  But maybe not.

Thistle people

Sound like anyone you know?  Thistle people throw barbs at others effectively creating a distant relationship.  You know the type, any time you get too close, it’s as if a spear pierces your heart and you back up, relationally speaking.

Sometimes their rough exterior holds people back.  They don’t dress a certain way or talk appropriately.

One great image of a thistle person came in Murphy Brown.  Do you know or remember the show, circa 1980 something?  If not, allow me to inform you.

Murphy Brown worked as an investigative reporter.  She rose to the top of her profession.  No question too tough for her to ask, no topic to difficult to cover.  Her work environment contained a variety of personalities.  Ultimately these people served as her only real friends and yet they described her this way, “The first time I met Murphy, I thought she was beautiful.  Then, she opened her mouth.”

Another thistle person shows up in George Lopez, savez que, you know what I mean?  A thistle person could be someone like Lady Gaga.  Her outward appearance can be off-putting to some people.

Do you know a thistle? 

Maybe you know a thistle person or you are a thistle person.  Your very demeanor screams, “Don’t come any closer!”

Why would anyone want to do that? Why hold out barriers to friendship?

What is it protecting?

I wondered about that uninviting weed.  After research, I discovered what it was protecting. Milk thistle helps people with multiple ailments.  For years, it’s been used by various practitioners to help treat liver malfunction, hepatitis C, gallstones, high cholesterol and cancer.

I’m not advocating a medicine, but examining a plant.  With so much potential contained within its highly protected body, maybe the thistle knows what it’s guarding.  Ignoring any hippie dippie thoughts, something of value is worth protecting.

Steps to know a thistle person

Thistle people guard their true self carefully and cautiously.  They know the value they hold, on some level, they know.  Perhaps they’ve been damaged previously, but the inner beauty remains.

What can we do?  Exercise caution.  Spines hurt, no matter what beauty lies within.  As a snake handler knows the pain of the bite, so those of us who want to see the inner beauty of a thistle need to use caution and respect.

Seek the beauty and let them know you see it.  Maybe, with each kind word, with each positive action, the spines can shrivel and show the true beauty within.

For those patient enough to appreciate a thistle, the reward is great.

The great weed lover 

Jesus did that for us.  He sought us out and didn’t let our spines push Him away.  He took everything we could dish out at him because He knows and sees our beauty.  He took a beating because He saw our beauty and wanted to give us friendship.  He died at the hand of people like ourselves.  Yet, He knew we were worth the trouble.  So are all the other thistle people. 

He told us how to react and treat the thistles in our lives:

“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19


If you have a story of a thistle person you love, please share it here.  Don’t forget to anonymously rate this article (thumbs up or down).