Earlier this summer I bought a hanging plant.
There were no blooms on it yet. Just a bunch of dirt it seemed, but the price was right and I thought for sure it held some promise.
So I hung it on my balcony in a prominent place.
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
But for a long time, perhaps several weeks, nothing happened. I couldn’t figure it out — was I destroying it up with too much water, or was it a dud plant, or did it get too much sun exposure?
It seemed odd. And slightly disappointing.
Maybe . . . there wasn’t even a plant there after all.
But I kept up the process, nevertheless.
Because for some stubborn notion giving up is never an option. Especially when I dropped a whole two dollars for it.
And so continued the daily drudgery of watering, waiting, watching.
Eventually, I’m a little sad to say, I stopped expecting anything. I was sure then that if it ever did bloom, it would most likely be sad, pathetic flowers that made even itself cry.
From the externals, there was no hint of anything good coming out of this plant. Even when I poured water on the plant, it seemed to go straight through and drop out of the bottom. Did it even retain anything?
But then, a day before I left for Africa, I walked out the back door, as always each morning, and about fell over myself.
It was a massive, gorgeous, stunning display of the richest purple flowers. Covering the plant, overflowing the sides. And with purple, my favorite color.
It took my breath away, because I had been inwardly longing for so long, and it happened so suddenly. And the first thought that came to my mind was,
And just like *that*, it bloomed.
What immediately followed next was a prophetic message that went deeper and struck my soul as God whispered to me,
And just like *that*, she bloomed.
And I knew at that point my life would be completely different.
The seasons were changing. The past was behind. Breakthrough had arrived.
It was as if my life flashed before my eyes and I knew one hand was releasing the past, and the other was grabbing ahold of the future. I had been dry for so long. Now is was time to bloom.
And I thought on it all, on the a story behind this — this long, suffering, blooming process.
You see, for oh-so-many years I thought there was promise, I had so much hope
That this plant of mine would come alive,
Soaking and waiting, and watering and hoping.
Living on hope until the last drop gave out.
And it seemed as if water poured endlessly into the drought.
So disappointed in how it only seemed to die
Time and time and time again.
Dripping through, no soaking up,
Bleeding out, no living out.
Depression and fear my nearest friends,
A future blurred out by a pain that never ends.
But I failed to see the journey in full
Must pass through death on its way to life,
That the driest spell is a burial ground
For the bitter wounds of shame and lies.
Dripping through – pain, betrayal, unforgiveness
Bleeding out – lust, self-loathing, pride
Day after day, dry after dry, pouring after pouring
Not giving up, not giving in — just giving, strong and weak.
The process – oh so long
The change and promise – oh so slow.
Sometimes staring too long at a thing
Develops a loss of perspective,
A resentment towards the loss of time and investment.
But then it came — like a night time firework,
A bursting fall tree, a surprise party.
And I could hardly believe it,
I — the most shocked of all.
You see, just like *that*
The most radiant of colors, the brilliance of form
Just — absolutely radiating, a wedding day bride
She was hiding no longer, entering into public eye
So proud, so self-respectful, so free
Not a whisper, but shouting with blossoms
All may see, all may talk, all may wonder
But to her nothing matters
Because the shackles of drought are gone
The time of truth has come
And truth has never been so lovely, so becoming
I can never go back
Blooming has changed me forever.
I’m glad that nature tells us a story that reflects the hope of life and future. Even when life dies and we want the world around us to reflect the death we feel inside, somehow Spring always comes around. Nature keeps following it’s created course.
Death, seed, water, growth, bloom.
Around and around the circle it goes.
And similarly, we get the same path in life.
Seasons. Change. Motion.
And life wouldn’t really be all that wonderful if it were always Spring, right?
Those flowers that bloomed — they really meant something to me because I poured so much time and expectation into them. The waiting can be a painful experience, but it can also be more like the waiting and anticipation of watching the fuse burn towards an exploding firework. Perhaps we have a choice in how we wait.
Dryness and death and cold and bare only make Spring that much more brilliant and wonderful.
So hold on to your dry, bedraggled plant. Water it with your tears. Sleep with it by your side.
Because you never know when the blooming day is coming.
And it’s coming. Oh yes it is!