Monday, March 24, 2014

Hope

For thirty years they lived on the window sill just over the kitchen sink. The sun touched them with a gentle light. I watered them regularly. They thrived - pink and purple blooms that glowed with a translucent quality.

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."
Romans 8:24-25

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.

Blessings,
Linda

4 comments:

  1. Oh, Linda, I manage to kill even the sturdiest plants, so if I could keep a violet alive, that would feel like a miracle. This story reminds me of at least two things off the bat: that we mustn't give up too soon, assuming we're at the end when we have plenty of life ahead of us; and, we must search for the right setting to thrive, and if we're wilting in one situation, try to find a new one. This is actually helping me with a situation I'm in...if I can't change the situation, I might need to move to a new location.

    Because of your creative restraint with this story, I believe God is applying it in specific ways in my life. It's a reminder of the power of the story itself, like parables in Scripture that The Lord can use to speak into our lives. Thank you for this gift today.

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    1. Thank you so much Ann. The Father works in amazing ways. I so needed your words today.

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  2. How neat! I've been in the similar situation with my African violets. Have many of them in my house and have had some of the same ones for up to 15 years. When moving, the flowers come up or come out or don't. BUT while waiting they grow again. And adding the Word to the mix came across gorgeously from you...and hope truly is all we can every count on. Thank you MUCH!!

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  3. I have one African violet that is still with me. It blooms from time to time. Each time I am happily surprised . It seems that it is always at a time in my life when I am tussling with something. God sends this gentle reminder of his love, and I am renewed.

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