Last fall, a friend from church gifted us with two giant peony bushes.
It was a lovely, heartfelt gesture and we were very grateful.
I was certain that I would kill them.
I do not have a green thumb.
I do not even have a brown thumb.
I have a black thumb. I have never been able to keep anything alive, even a plant that is supposedly hard to kill, like a cactus.
Hoping that this time would be different, I spoke to friends who knew about gardening. I scoured the Internet for tips.
And finally the day came when I took a deep breath, pulled the bushes out of their pots and planted them in our front yard.
The kids tried hard not to laugh at my hopeful comment about seeing the bushes bloom once spring arrived. They knew my track record all too well.
A couple of weeks ago, my son sadly announced that the bushes were dead, that there was no way they would bloom.
He beckoned for me to follow him outside and sure enough, the bushes looked like they had been run over with a steamroller. They were totally flat, one-dimensional, and colorless.
My face fell. The black thumb had struck again.
On my way out to the car one morning, this is what I saw:
I couldn’t believe it! The bushes were not dead after all!
I was elated.
This is what they look like today:
There was more evidence of spring around our yard, as gray and brown give way to pink and red and green:
What was dormant through the long hard winter is now beginning to blossom.
What looked dead is in reality alive and thriving.
The spiritual lesson was not lost on me.
There are those winter seasons in all our lives when it looks as if nothing is happening. We see no signs of life or hope or light.
We are tempted to think that God has forgotten us, that His plans will never come to fruition, that He is not doing anything about our situation.
But that is a lie.
Spring always comes.
New life bursts forth in beauty and light.
The gray gives way to brilliant color.
Life was there all along.
“Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world.”–Virgil Kraft