I’ve been quiet on the blog the last few weeks. None of us has lived through a pandemic before and to be honest, I didn’t know what to say. This should be my sweet spot, right? The time to shout simple rhythms & spacious margins from the rooftops. After all, it’s a mantra my family has grown accustomed to these last few years and I am observing how it is benefitting us in this moment. But it just seems to fall so. . . flat.
Flat when people are losing their jobs. Flat when essential workers are scrambling for childcare. Flat when teachers are juggling their own children while deeply concerned for the 20-some faces they won’t see again this academic year. Flat when widows are isolated from the social structure they’ve worked so hard—and brave—to build.
What can I offer that won’t contribute to the noise, the anxiety, or the feelings of guilt from not using this time to invent, create, or homeschool like a seasoned pro?
The answer is hope.
This week my mom and daughter—with 65 wonderful years between them—planted phlox and roses along our front walk. They dug hands into dirt and moved earth and soil to place symbols of living hope into the ground. Perennials. Enduring, continually occurring, existing for an infinite amount of time.
After fertilizing and watering, we stood over our job well done and talked about how, in a few years, the phlox will spread together and look like one big ground cover, and the roses will need to be cut back each season so new growth can occur.
Pruning so it can be healthier and more beautiful the next year.
We planted for the now and we planted for the future and we were implanted with hope.
For so many, this is a pruning season. It’s painful what’s happening in your life right now. It doesn’t make sense in the world of horticulture that to bear more fruit, you have to remove a third of the entire plant. And not just any third, the largest third. The branch that is most heartbreaking to discard because you loved all the beauty and joy it brought in the past.
And believe that what is perennial in your life will remain when all of this is said and done.
“Every branch that is fruit bearing He prunes back so it will bear even more.” John 15:2
What has been taken from you these last few weeks? What are your biggest disappointments for yourself and others? How can you find hope in the lasting things during this time? What is being pruned from your life so that you/your family may return bearing even more fruit?