Have you been waiting - and waiting - and waiting for spring? For answers to long-offered prayers? For hope to burst forth in bloom? Our Really Blog Manager, Carla Foote, shares her perspective on the small offering of our faith in the wait - that God makes big enough for the moment.
The Faith of a Crocus Bulb
By Carla Foote
Spring starts small - at least in many places - like here, in Colorado. The progression of spring bulbs goes from small to large - crocus and snowdrop to dwarf iris, daffodils, then tulips. From small splashes of brave color in the midst of the brown of winter to large displays of beauty.
Crocus bulbs are small. In a little brown nub there is the potential for life and beauty. But as bulbs, they aren't much to look at, and they are easily overlooked. During the winter, crocus bulbs are hidden in the earth. Planted with faith in the fall, then growing in the dark, unseen spaces, with no visible evidence of life.
That's how the winter can feel, dark and unseen, with even glimmers of life and faith hard to find.
This winter I found my prayer list growing and growing with each phone call, text, email and Facebook post. Cancer striking yet another friend, a tragic death of a young adult, a friend in constant physical pain, a job situation, and the deeper - harder to identify needs ... on and on, the list grew.
And it was dark, winter. And I wondered about my little brown nub of faith as I looked at my list and saw the reflection of people I love. I felt powerless to make a difference, but I could pray. A brown nub. Small. In the dark. Unseen.
Some answers starting coming: A "no" - a "yes" - many "wait" answers. It is a long season. What if it feels like it is always winter and never spring? Is my little nub of crocus-bulb faith enough for the long season of waiting? Sometimes the winter of my soul is actually longer than 3 months.
If I'm honest, I want the grand, big, miraculous answer - now! Not the nub of a brown bulb with the hope and promise of color, but the forced bouquet bright and fresh from the greenhouse.
Finally I realize in my heart what I've known in my head all along. That life and growth don't depend on me - on my little nub of faith, on my feeble prayers.
God the Creator puts the growth and beauty into the nub of the crocus bulb, and he will bring it forth in the right time. And he does - faithfully, gloriously, always.
So late each winter I go searching for signs of life in my garden, for tiny green shoots. I may have to carefully move away some dead leaves to find the promise.
Spring starts small.
Crocus bulbs are small.
And small faith is all I have.
And that's okay. Because it isn't all up to me.
Carla Foote is the blog manager for Really. Her favorite flower is whatever is blooming right now (pansies, dwarf iris, crocuses, violets and mini daffodils are currently blooming in her small Denver garden). She reflects on gardening and soul cultivation at www.flowers4soul.com and her editorial website is www.fineprintedit.com.