My paperwhites still linger in the window sill. I waited for their blossoms and endured their stink and now they are dried up, wilted and tilting from age.
I notice as I type that I’m a little hunched over, too. I sit up tall and remind my kids to do the same, to sit straight and talk straight – to point up. We need stretching and our bad habits can pull us over, but there is still spring in our muscles.
The rains have just come, but barely – too much moisture mixed with too much dirt have undone my housekeeping efforts, so I welcome it grudgingly.
My daffodils and tulips rest under the mud along the side of the house and soak it all in, preparing for their spring from the earth. They’ll poke little green caps up soon and I’m watching for them. The ones that have survived the record lows and record dry season and all the puppy’s rearranging of them, they’ll be strong and stand straight.
A bulb will send its root to the center of the earth and its shoot to the sun no matter how upside down you plant it. If you plant the bulb sideways, the roots find the core of the earth and pull into the ground.
Geotropism is one of the glories of a God Who holds all things together. Because He knew that our kids would help plant the bulbs and our dog would upturn them?
I get sideways and can’t find up occasionally.
I am called to walk worthy of the calling and there is just no way my own two feet of clay can be any different than the mud on my floors. No way to direct my own roots to the center when life puts me sideways, no way to find up when the world is tilted to begin with.
I wash my feet and sweep the floor and realize how off-course the day is. I have spent the better part of it looking down and bemoaning the dirt and there’s a crook in my neck now, making it hard to lift my eyes for help.
The tilt is all so disorienting.
The only thing that pulls my roots to center and my shoots to the sun is Christ in me, the hope of glory. Just the way He designed.
There’s no formula for a good day, for perfectly behaved children and a sparkling house and stellar marriage. There is rain and mud and there are messes and Christ in us, our only hope for glory. The pulling of the Spirit is the only straightening of the day here, the only re-orienting possible.
There are days of mud and dark and days of breaking into marvellous light, and I guess all of them must be necessary.
The paperwhite bulbs will go into a dark closet for the spring and summer. The green shoots will die into the bulb and feed new life for next fall, when I’ll remember (I will) to put them in the soil again, and they will stink again and I will love them anyway.