My shovel cut through the plastic bag of top soil, I couldn’t lift the weight of that bag for all my trying. Obviously it wasn’t air-tight because the soil inside was so heavy, saturated from recent rains. The weight of all of that water–I couldn’t even get it up on it’s end. I cut in and ripped back the white sheath expecting to see just brown, just soil.
I hadn’t expected the life inside.
I hadn’t expected the shock of green against the black.
Of course I see the metaphor in this. I see the message bold and blazing–hope growing quietly in the dark. Hope biding it’s time, breathing, spreading roots in the quiet, unseen.
This year came in with her fists up, her shoulders squared, her feet in fighting stance. I’ve been stumbling alongside friends and family through trial after trial. We live through suffering seasons, that overwhelm us and snuff out our joy, blinding us to beauty that lives just beneath the surface.
But just because we don’t easily see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Who are we to assume we know what lays beneath the thick blanket of struggle, that the seeds of hope aren’t already sprouting, taking root, in spite of the blows life deals us.
I have kicked at dried leaves in my path and scuffed my heels in low, muffled exasperation at life. I’ve poured out my heart in prayer and angst, shoving my hands deep into my pockets and feeling nothing but my own fingers, and wished there was something more to grab onto.
All the while He hovers above and around me, God, blowing through the trees and stirring up the seasons in transition. Meanwhile hope grows unassumingly, unexpectedly, always where I least expect to see it. Under wraps, in the dark, in what seems to be the least hospitable place for life, hope unfurls in the soft, bright colors of spring in the dead of winter.
As my friend Christie writes, “Gardens are born in winter”. (Roots & Sky)
Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God! (Psalm 43:5)
In a garden where everything lies dead, ripped up by the roots, in a space laying rest for a later season of growth, right there among the scraps and cast off bits, that’s where hope lives. Hope thrives in corners unnoticed, in spaces deemed unfit for any proper use.
This isn’t an old, dying world. This is a world in the process of being made new. This is the truth that has always been hiding in plain sight. (Roots & Sky)
Those dark places that bog us down, that cause our feet to slip, it is along those muddy passages of life where hope grows wild, those are the spaces where we find Him, gloriously making a way .