Someone I know well sent me a beautiful blog post about gardens planted for future pleasure. * The post, as is this one, is about a lot more.
In the Church biz it’s all about planting for the future even as we serve immediate needs now. We are about the transformation of hearts and lives into the image of Christ, into the loving, caring, humble, joyful and peaceful people God intends us to be. This takes time. Preparing the soil or recognizing soil ready for the seed of Love is an art in itself, and we rely on God’s guidance, the nudges of the Holy Spirit, and Jesus’s always open invitation to each one.
Rarely do we get to see the fruits of our labors in helping to draw hearts closer to God and to one another. Such transformation often takes years. The story of Moses guiding and leading the Hebrew people through the wilderness to the Promised Land most often comes to mind as a metaphor for our work. Moses never got to see his people in the Promised Land, to see the fruits of his labor and journey with God.
Now I have and I offer to you a new metaphor, the story of a couple who planted hydrangea vines, yes vines, on their property in Washington state. This was an act of hope, love, trust, and superb stewardship of a space “because these vines take patience. You put one in the ground, and it takes three, four, five years to start going. But once it does, you get the south side of my property line, a dense forest of graceful, lingering blooms.” *
Each and every one of us is called to plant hydrangea vines in the garden of human beings and this planet. Actually, we already have an image from John 15 when Jesus calls himself the vine and we the branches. What we are doing is planting the vine of Jesus, tending it, showing patience and love even though we may not ever see its beautiful flowering in another person or community. When we are lucky, we see glimpses of what is to come.
I have seen these glimpses at Christ Church and treasure each one. You shall grow into a wall of graceful, lingering blooms. May it be so.
With every blessing,