The Color of Hope


Texas has received devastating damage throughout the state delivered by deluges of rain, tornadoes, and rivers out of their banks. 46 counties have been declared disaster areas. In our town alone, a severe storm system which produced more than 11 inches of rain in 11 hours began a week that finds the entire metropolitan area of Houston in the throes of  historic flooding. Lives have been lost, homes destroyed, motorists stranded. Rivers continue to rise.  The Brazos River, near my neighborhood, is expected to reach flood stage tomorrow.  We have a good levee system here and should be OK, but two nearby communities which are near other stretches of the river are already evacuating. I pray for strength and peace for  those who are suffering tragedy and for those who will face unknown trials in the next few days. And I claim hope, the kind of expectant waiting that provides strength and endurance and perseverance. .It is so needed for those in the throes of crisis now.  It will be needed in the days to come as people who are hurt and grieving must begin to rebuild not only their homes but their very lives.

in the Jewish faith, blue is the color of hope, in Christianity, purple candles in the Advent wreath symbolize hope, a time of waiting and hoping. Others say green is the color of hope as it comes to us when spring is on its way, in hope and expectation of a new season of growth.  I like that.

Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!  ~ Romans 15:13    The Message

Look Again

IMG_2330The tree in the back corner of our garden is not noticed by most people who walk around out there.  It is easy to pay attention to the roses, admire the lilies and tomato plants that have clusters of tomatoes almost ready to pick.  The fig tree has grown huge and is heavy with green knobs easy to recognize as figs. But this little corner tree is not remarkable.  It is only medium height with foliage that does not look too different from other plants. It grows happily in this spot with very little care.  But once a year, the pineapple guava blooms and if you look closely, each bloom is a dazzling display of fireworks. The creamy white petals look like they are waiting to catch the sparks.  Because they are tiny, even these exquisite blooms are not easily noticed.  Even the fruit, which does not ripen until late fall, is easy to miss.

It has been a long tine since I quoted  my favorite lines from one of Mary Oliver’s poem, but I am thinking of her words today – “Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”

There is so much beauty that we miss when we fail to do just that.

Begin Again

IMG_2335sprouting takes time

cracking the hard black seed shell

pushing through into darkness

reaching for light

then warmed in sunlight, kissed by rain

the green in me reaches up

for strength to lean into

wrapping around and holding on

I grow and bloom