Things are rarely as they seem – – – and every now and then we get a glimpse of the quiet and invisible realities hidden within what “seems”.
You see the tree in my back yard looks dead – well and truly. Not just any tree – my favourite – a potted ornamental Ficus that has bloomed lush and green year round for at least 15 years. He’s survived all manner of insult and injury, heat and cold, dry and wet as well as my ungreen thumb to stand strong and tall, the handsomest of them all – in the corner of my “secret garden”. Seems he has a secret too – he’s not invincible.
About a month ago almost overnight the leaves just dried up brown and ugly and dropped off leaving me with bare skeletal grey branches – – –
I was horrified. My lovely tree – and the mystery, what had happened, what did I do, what changed, was it the heat, the cold, old age, neglect? No answers and nothing to be done so I made plans to wrap fairy lights around those lonely branches so he could twinkle through the Christmas season – one more moment of shining glory before I turfed him out and got something else.
And then – – –
A few days ago I noticed this – beautiful fresh new leaves sprouting thick from the bottom branches !! – unbelievable – not dead after all. Recuperating maybe, getting over some awful shock ? Resting, shoring up, taking stock, healing ? but not dead.
In those dry and bare branches there is still a heart beat and there’s life coursing through those woody veins. Those tiny green shooting leaves – a lovely reminder of the sustaining rhythm and pulse of God’s life within every area of our life.
– – – even the dry and lifeless looking places – you know the places where grace seems to have all but evaporated – where we are all dried out and done – our dead losses and our no shows – His heart beats there too – isn’t that the place He can work a wonder even when we have given up on wonders – the place where He might do something fresh and new and surprising. We might despair over the dryness but don’t be making plans to lop it off and throw it out – – – not yet – – – let it be – – – give it some space and some room to breath – and in that place there can be a river of His mercy begin to flow and in it healing and restoration, strength and new life – He can show himself glorious there.
“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19
It is within the very frailty of us that He delights to make His home and to reveal Himself strong and faithful and true.
“a thrill of hope the weary world rejoices” O Holy Night
My lovely tree – – – – I’m welcoming him back – I’m still thinking those fairy lights would look good though. See what I’m thinking about here
Anything interesting happening in your garden?