Wednesday, May 18, 2011


It ought not to happen, especially in my yard. But here for the second year in a row, an amaryllis blooms. And not just one, but two.

You’re supposed to winter over the bulbs, not bury them in the ground, and forget about them as I’ve done. But, given my life, I know that if I put them somewhere over the winter, I’ll likely forget where they are. So for several years now, I’ve taken the bulbs forced into bloom at Christmas, planted them in the spring and only hoped for future blooms. Last year, when bright red petals unfurled, I thought that was it. A onetime only thing.

Now, two Christmases of bulbs are bursting with color and life, loaded with blooms.

And Lucy hasn’t done anything to them but break a few leaves.

The word grace comes to mind.

I’ve spent a lot of time gardening only to have a drought hit and suck the life out of my plants or worse yet have them suffer from that killer disease, Labrador-itis. These unexpected gorgeous blooms make up for the Lucy eaten tulip bulbs, the wilt blighted peonies, and the giant hole where the butterfly attracting lantana used to be.

In life, we invest ourselves in some area, and after a time, there may seem to be no fruit. Then seemingly, out of nowhere we find the return in an unexpected place just like the amaryllis.

It’s all grace.

I sometimes think that God allows these kinds of things to remind us to be faithful, but also to remember it’s only God who brings the increase.

“So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow” (I Corinthians 3:7)

I’m going out to the patio now to enjoy these trumpeting blossoms. I can almost hear them announcing, “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song…” (Psalm 98:4).

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