Tag Archives: hope

blooming in Africa

Despite a long period of drought, flowers are everywhere in this part of Africa right now. It’s the season for the winter rains and things once scorched and left thirsting beneath the punishing sun of summer are now relaxing and unfolding under the gentle encouragement of the slightest bits of water.

It doesn’t take much. Just a little bit can bring out the green in anything and the flowers can not resist the urge to seize the moment and burst into bloom while they have the chance.

Not every plant has a flower. Not every tree bears fruit, but those that do seem to know how to respond with the least amounts of nourishment. People can be much the same you know. At least this is what I have learned. Hope is a wonderful, nourishing thing;

the hope of Christ is life changing.

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blooming in Africa

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There’s Rose.

Born with a congenital defect, unmarried and living at home with her child, Rose’s lot in life was bleak at best. Life is hard enough for the able-bodied in this part of the world and for the disabled, the challenges are multiplied exponentially.

 Perhaps it was the stark cruelty around her, or maybe it was the cruelty and rejection of others, the fact is; she was becoming hardened as well.

Closed up tight, reserved and withdrawn, Rose lived with very little hope.

Let me tell you more…

thou shalt

Stepping outside,  I manage to catch the last rosy rays streaking low behind silhouetted trees as the sun passes it’s baton to a healthy slice of moon taking up post for the night watch.

The call and response  of crickets chirp back and forth as night sounds begin to creep in closer from every angle. Somewhere at the end of the street, a hoot-owl calls the evening to order as the sun exits and dusk finally gives way to deepening night.

I saw the first fireflies tonight. I heard a few cicadas too.

Laying on my back looking up at the moon glinting far beyond the trees, the angle of my repose makes the Queen Anne’s lace look smoky and sultry, mysterious and lovely in the gathering darkness.

A deep breath of the cooling air relaxes my body by degrees until I feel my shoulders give way against the grass, sinking into the comfort of God’s obvious and quiet presence there with me.

My cat joins me, purring,  and neither of us speaks a word. It’s enough just to be there together with Him.

I am thankful.

Soon, I will find myself under a different piece of the same sky in Africa.

Let me tell you more…

when holding on seems like letting go

 

Closing my eyes,  I can still picture those mountains in my mind.

 

The memories are beginning to blur and fade a bit now and those once-vivid colors are slowly giving way to a more tinty, Polaroid hue. They float there sometimes… just out of reach but somehow… still,  the heart-shapes remain the same.

 

Sometimes even the pain doesn’t seem as black as it was. Although every now and then, something scrapes and pricks my heart just enough to sharpen the view again. My throat catches and pulse quickens just moments before my mind has a chance to kick in and remember;  that was then–this is now,   Jesus is here.

 

Oh, but it wasn’t all bad
growing up in those mountains.

Those were the days when our little band of neighborhood ragamuffins ran wild and free around those hills. Days when our weary mothers sent us outside to play never worrying  where we’d roamed until sundown. When there was nothing worse than getting stuck inside doing chores all day. So we’d pack a loose lunch and set out ….

exploring.

Holding On:letting Go

 

Let me tell you more…