October 14, 2014

fresh starts

I've been spending a good bit of time indoors lately, sitting in my cozy overstuffed chair, reading, working on the blog transfer and my "correspondence" (a.k.a. emails and facebook messages to friends).  It's been good weather for snuggling into a comfy chair:  cool enough for jeans and slippers, but not quite cold enough for my Farmer to want to fire up the pellet stove too often.  Thus, the warm and cozy chair.

The wind's been blowing, though, and with it came milder temperatures, so this morning I ventured out, determined to snip off the unsightly dying flowers of my once-gorgeous new chrysanthemums.  I was feeling disappointed in how long (or short) they'd lasted.  I'd only bought them a couple of weeks ago, and was hoping their jewel tones would enliven my straggly flowerbeds a little longer.

But, c'est la vie, at least we'd had their color this long.  So out I went, insouciance and flower snips in hand.

If you're more of a gardener than I am (which wouldn't take much), then you probably know what I found about an inch below the dead flowers I was clipping off, but to me it was like finding another ice cream sandwich when I was sure I'd eaten the last one in the box:

                                                     New buds!!

This means more flowers (I hope, I hope - please, veteran gardeners, don't burst my bubble if I'm wrong; I'll find out soon enough).  Just as I was mourning the sure and certain end of beauty, it turns out there was more to come, hidden.  Before the death of the old was complete, before I'd even noticed its inexorable approach, probably, the new was being formed.

So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, "After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?"  Genesis 18:12

I know - it seems wildly out of context.  Sarah is delighted - and astonished, and probably not entirely believing - at the thought of bearing a child after decades of being barren, and I'm just talking about a second flush of flowers.  Doesn't it show, though, a God who loves to do the unlikely?  Who makes wine out of water, sends a lame man leaping for joy, gives first sight to the born-blind, grants children to the barren, forms saints out of sinners?

Who gives hope to the hopeless?

I've spun dozens of pots on the wheel.  The raw creation of it never gets old.  (I mean, who walks along a creek and envisions dinnerware in its banks?!)  A lump of clay - mud, really - pulled into a graceful vessel.

Mud -> bowl.
Mud ->  vase.
Mud ->  goblet.
Mud ->  teapot.
Mud ->  piggybank.


But unlikely's nothing to God.  He took mud . . . . and made a living man!

Oh yeah.  My God?  Is a second-flush-of-flowers kind of God.

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