Everyone admired them. I thought them a miracle, for I have the unhappy reputation of killing every plant that has the misfortune to fall into my unskilled hands. Never mind that I love them, I've even been known to kill them with kindness.
When we moved into our new home about two years ago, I searched for the perfect place to put them. Not one of the windows seemed just right - too much direct sunlight. I decided to try the window over the kitchen sink. I worried a bit about the sunlight that streamed in in the late afternoon but hoped for the best.
For months they refused to bloom. Then I noticed the dark green leaves turning a sickly yellow. I began to resign myself to the loss - five faithful little friends fading away.
Finally, having tried everything else, I moved them to the window on the opposite side of the kitchen. It didn't seem like an ideal spot, but I wasn't ready to give up on them altogether. A tiny spark of hope burned in my heart.
"…Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience."
I plucked off all the dead and dying leaves and waited. For days nothing changed. Days turned into weeks. Then, almost without my noticing, the leaves grew thick and green. Hope rose.
Within a few weeks the first blooms began to appear. First the deep purple and then the satiny pink blossoms.
Miracle - hope in the face of despair. They are a visual reminder that even when circumstances threaten to pull us under, there is hope. It is a hope whose other name is "confident expectation," because it is grounded in faith in the One who cannot fail.