Sunday, November 7, 2010

running, flowers & Isaiah 61...

Tonight I went running. While running I usually think about a lot of things. Tonight I was thinking about a lot of things, as usual. I tried thinking about what I could put on this blog and there were a lot of ideas. I think I might start with flowers.

Almost three years ago I returned to the U.S. from Nicaragua. I had lived there for a year and a half and prior to that in the Dominican Republic for 3. After a couple of months of being here I realized I wasn't returning any time soon so I needed a job. I was slightly overwhelmed by the idea of applying for a job so when my mom found out I could possibly work at the greenhouse I was relieved. I was going through kind of a difficult time to say the least, and people kept telling me that working with flowers might help. I rolled my eyes in response to what seemed a ridiculous concept. As if deadheading flowers and sticking cuttings into dirt all day was going to heal all of my wounds and make me happy. Looking back though I realize they were right. Watching things grow from nothing but a tiny seed or a little leaf into a big, colorful plant does incredible things for the soul. After working in the greenhouse for a couple of months I started working at the Home Depot garden center where the plants are sold. There I discovered that sometimes plants look dead, but with a little care they can be resurrected. So it has been my hobby to bring home a few almost dead plants now and then and bring them back to life. It's always amazing to me.

Before moving back here a friend of mine gave me this drawing. The idea has stuck with me ever since and the flowers remind me of it almost on a daily basis. If you ever come to my house in the spring or summer you'll find old buckets and other types of containers used as flower pots. I try to put only half dead plants in them so I can watch them grow and come back to life. I like the analogy my friend gave and I like reminding myself of the truth that God can make something lovely out of what might seem to be useless and unattractive. He has a way with bringing something beautiful and good out of unfortunate circumstances.

One of my favorite passages is Isaiah 61, which is a promise that God will give us beauty for ashes and joy instead of mourning. It also says that we'll be like oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor. This passage comes to mind when I see the flowers in those old buckets, when I'm watering at Home Depot and when I see dried up and seemingly dead flowers come back to life. It's like what God does in each of us and in our lives. Thanks flowers for what you've taught me. Thanks Micandy for giving me this gift. Thanks Ili for the drawing. Thanks God for using nature to help me understand life and how you work. Thanks friends for sticking with me as I figure this all out.

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