flowering: your turn in the sun will come

Some of us are wilting for want of a Covid-free and hassle-free holiday, a proper time away from our oh so familiar homes, our troubled shores. A place in the sun, no less, reliable sunshine, that is.

Although there is beauty, refreshment and restfulness to be had closer to home than you might think. We English (or any other nationality, of course) roses can shine right here, right now, as we glow with the light of Christ, and have our beautiful flowering.

You might consider yourself to be more of a weed or wildflower, invisible to most, a person on the margins, not especially prized, perhaps. But wherever you are, and whoever you are, you are far from invisible to God. He watches carefully over all your seasons of flowering and growth.

Because wherever you and I might live, we can bloom right where we are planted. We can have a spiritual flowering any moment, any day, any season of the year we might be in. We only need to be willing to follow God’s timing.

“A flower’s appeal is in its contradictions — so delicate in form yet strong in fragrance, so small in size yet big in beauty, so short in life yet long on effect.” — Terri Guillemets

Flowering

I observe how
each rosy-pink
of these growing buds
slowly begins to open
up, and fill with moisture,

like rain-saturated
tea cups, which turns them
into spreading, pale, creamy,
dark pink dotted petals, as if 
they are covered in measles.

While the lush green
leaves expand, stretch 
themselves to accommodate
each spilling, fragrant
froth of flower

in its opening up,
as they try to gather
more chlorophyll greening
into themselves
from light in their veins.

This lovely rose
bush has her face
uptilted, as if she
is smiling at the sun,
welcoming its warming

touch, giving life
and heat and energy
in which to bloom 
where she is planted,
here in this space.

And I wonder
if I am similarly 
receptive to the light
shining within and without,
as ready to stay 

rooted for months,
patiently waiting for
my turn in the sun,
my flowering to come.
© joylenton

“Earth laughs in flowers.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

waiting: the holy work of Advent and beyond

“Waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one’s thoughts.” ― Elisabeth Elliot

Waiting 

 sunlight weakens
 colour fades as mists descend
 December's here
 wrapping us in thick fogginess
 hunker down, it's nearly Christmas

 days slide by
 in a rush toward the night
 our souls moan and sigh
 darkness outside increases
 the onward march is ceaseless

 we become hungry
 for hope, for warmth, for light
 a safe place to abide
 while our souls grow accustomed
 to the season we are in

 clothed with silhouettes
 the trees stand sentinel-bare
 like bereft soldiers
 guarding the fort of their thoughts
 waiting for spring's reward

 maybe you and I
 can keep the vigil with them
 our hearts tuned to spring
 as wintry winds whistle hard
 let's remain patient and calm
 © joylenton

“This is the most precious answer God can give us: wait. It makes us cling to him rather than to an outcome. God knows what I need; I do not. He sees the future; I cannot. His perspective is eternal; mine is not. He will give me what is best for me when it is best for me.” ― Vaneetha Rendall Risner, The Scars That Have Shaped Me: How God Meets Us in Suffering

Friends, you’ve been waiting several weeks to see when I might return to writing in this space. Thank you for your patience! I’m so glad to be back. We seem to spend much of our lives waiting for this and that, don’t we? The season of Advent highlights how to wait with intention, with purpose, with hope and expectation in our hearts.

May we begin it with such anticipation. And may we aim to listen harder for God’s soft footsteps in our hearts. He longs to draw near to us and whisper His wisdom to our receptive souls but so often we become weary in the waiting and slow to respond. Let’s ask God to increase our ability to stay, to be open, to wait, and to receive. Because Jesus, our Light-bringer is well worth waiting for.