Six weeks ago I surveyed my yard– dead grass, bare trees, thorny sticks snagging every passerby; the only plants thriving were weeds. I shook my head and thought, “this winter was too dry, too bleak, my garden isn’t going to bloom and thrive ever again.”
I was wrong.
Since my father abandoned me I’ve lost my faith in many things, and because our idea of God is so closely tied to our earthly father, I’ve lost faith in His goodness. Is He really there? Does He care? Or does He too throw his children away?
I know I shouldn’t wonder. I’ve been blessed in so many ways– my husband, my children, my sister, my brother, my friends. Their names form a constant prayer on my lips, in my heart. Still, I feel too wounded, too broken to ever be whole.
With my hose, I can wander the yard, begging for life, but I cannot force leaves to unfurl, coax buds on every branch or open the heavens in great wide thunderstorms to drench the earth. No goals, or mantras “do it!” bring the rose to bloom– only God’s own time.
And I think the garden is my answer– pull the weeds, prune the bushes, feed and water and pray and wait upon the Lord. Not just a week or a season, but decades, a lifetime.
And most importantly, while I let God do His work, enjoy all the beauty on my way.
Stay with me just a minute while I take my rose analogy in a different direction– we’ve been to three different awards nights this week, while these evenings have their place, I couldn’t help but ponder how little a pin or certificate reveals about a living breathing person. There’s no award for Jessica who babysits her sisters after school, Kristen who paid for her own AP tests because she knew family finances were tight, Heather who has a ready smile for everyone.
My favorite rose grows on the west side of our house, next to the garbage cans, the neighbors fence just an arm’s reach away. But it reaches eight feet tall, blooms three times a summer with hundreds of fragrant yellow cups. In the spring, when the blossoms mingle with the neighboring honeysuckle the scent is truly intoxicating. The rose is rarely noticed but blooms and blooms and blooms as if the entire world were watching, fulfilling the measure of it’s creation.
Our society may be obsessed with fame, awards and renown, but for we ordinary mothers and sons, daughters and husbands, our job is to bloom and bloom and bloom– even when the peony overshadows us, or our branches skim the ground–trusting in God in His Time.