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Hope Realized

As we embrace spring, Really blog manager Carla Foote nudges us to be on the lookout for hope, however it emerges.


Hope Realized

By Carla Foote

Last fall I planted new bulbs in my garden. Even though I already have a variety of bulbs in my yard, I plant a few new ones each fall. I can always squeeze in a dozen daffodils or tulips or add the smaller crocuses and dwarf iris.

Bulbs seems like such a miracle to me - they look like brown, lifeless blobs. In the darkness of winter, they grow hidden deep in the soil - sending down roots and pushing up shoots of new life.

I used to be careful about making notes about where I planted bulbs. I am less organized now in my garden, and in the spring I am often surprised with some of the blooms. Did I really plant bulbs in that section? What fun!

Spring blooms from bulbs are hope realized. In the waning days of fall, in the midst of dying leaves and declining sunlight, I make this hopeful gesture in my garden. Tossing brown globes into holes in the dirt.

In the spring, this hope is rewarded with beauty. Sure, some of the bulbs don't make it. The squirrels dig up some for winter food. Others conceal disease and remain stagnant. But most create new life and beauty.

The act of looking for hope seems even more real to me right now. I had a major health scare on the longest night, December 21, and had emergency surgery. Recovery was not guaranteed. But here I am, more than 3 months later, recovered and grateful for each day of life, and hopeful for what lies ahead. I’ve made it through a dark, cold winter, and emerged into spring.

As we turn the calendar to spring, the bulbs that were seemingly dormant in the winter are now sending up shoots and the early bulbs have already bloomed.

I love that Easter is in the spring (in the northern hemisphere). Is there a better symbol of death coming to life than bulbs pushing forth? I know the parallels aren't completely accurate. Jesus was actually dead - and the bulbs are just dead-looking. But still - the metaphor of hope pushes through.

So today, just a few days after Easter, I am on the lookout for hope. During Lent and the events of Holy Week, we felt the weight of grief and pain and sacrifice. I have many friends who have experienced heavy loss and grief this year. I am also grieving friends who have died. Grief and lament are necessary. Yet we grieve as those who also have hope.

Spring flowers are bursting forth. But more than that, there is the hope of new life in the dead places of my own soul. That's the real miracle. I worship the One who was crucified, died, and rose again. The Creator, not just the creation. The ultimate miracle of Jesus is hope realized - life can spring from dead places.

Adapted from a previously published Really blog.

Carla Foote is the Really blog manager. She also writes and edits for other clients through Fine Print Editorial. When she isn't at her computer working, she enjoys walking and gardening. The photo at the top of the blog is from a trip to Washington State during tulip season last year. Carla serves on the board of Magazine Training International, equipping Christian communicators around the world to share the Good News in their own context.


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