Sunday, August 8, 2010
We broke ground on a major deferred maintenance project at the church in early June. In order to replace the sewer lines, we had to dig up the beautiful courtyard. Not a tree or plant or bush or flower was left standing ... or so we thought.
Yesterday as I was preparing for a funeral, I was studying the dirt. Suddenly I noticed not one, but two flowers, poking up from the demolition. They looked to be some type of lily, although I'm terrible at identifying flowers. (I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.) They were probably still buried in the ground when the project began. Somehow, they were able to bloom and grow in spite of the chaos that surrounded them. When every other plant was uprooted, they flowered despite the odds. They are survivors.
I've been blessed by these types of surprises all summer long. In tragic places where I've expected to see nothing but an uprooted mess, I've witnessed something blooming. In tough situations where I've wondered if I've made the right decision, a shoot of grace has sprung up. During exhausting weeks, I've been touched by laughter, friendship, and joy.
My favorite expression in Hebrew is tohu va-bohu. (The French just shorten it to tohu-bohu.) It's the expression in Genesis 1 for "formless and empty," which was the condition of the earth before God said, "Let there be light." It's a time of confusion and commotion. It's a time of uncertainty. But it's also a time of potential, promise, and creation.
Kind of like two flowers popping up in the dirt of the church.