27 Feb

“Sometimes when you’re in a dark place you think you’ve been buried, but you’ve actually been planted.”  ~ Christine Caine

I heard many times in my youth the phrase, “Bloom where you are planted.”  It would often be on posters of plants or flowers.  It was a pithy phrase designed to encourage someone to give his or her all to the task at hand.  I never saw it that way, though.

I think most of you know me well enough to know that I am always looking at things from many angles, not just from one point of view.  Whenever I would hear that phrase, I would think of my dad and his love for gardening and for flowers.  To me, “bloom where you are planted” often took on darker undertones.

Have you ever thought about that phrase from the vantage point of the plant?  Let’s take irises, I love irises.  Or peonies, they work just as well.  I love them both.  Okay.  Consider the beautiful product that we love to view.  How did that flower begin?

It began with a rather innocuous bulb.  That bulb was taken from a bag of other bulbs, separated, and stuck all by itself in the earth.  Once set to the proper depth, dirt was heaped on it until it was completely covered.  No longer safe in the confines of the bag with other bulbs, it was now in the cold, damp, dark earth.

There, it endured extremes of seasons.  It received the rains of autumn and then the freeze of winter.  That hardly would be the place I would want to be.  It had to go through those changes, though, in order for the spring sun to do its own magic.  The ground warmed and the bulb pushed out the life that was in it.  That life struggled to break the ground so that its leaves could be exposed to the sun.

Once exposed, the light from the sun would give the plant the energy and nourishment that it needed, through photosynthesis, to grow, develop, and bloom.  The end product was beautiful.  The beginning stages, not so much.

It’s often like that for us in life.  We might feel like that bulb stuck in the dark, cold, seemingly lifeless earth.  We go through incredible ordeals and do our best to reach out to the light so that we can receive the warmth and nourishment that we need in order to bloom.  All the while, we are cognizant of the fact that one day our body will be placed into the cold ground as we await the coming of the Son.

In the cold of winter, we await the spring.  In the cold of winter, we also begin our Lenten journey.  We know that light and love are out there for us.  We need to reach out and find it and utilize it in order to grow physically and spiritually.  Don’t become overwhelmed if you feel buried.  Instead, do all that you can to reach up and break the ground so that you can see the light of Christ and feel its warmth.

FAITH ACTION:  If you encounter someone who appears to be discouraged today, reach out and offer to help.  Perhaps they are feeling buried.