Another dose of hail.
It's peak lily season right now. And a solid proportion of my garden beauties are only half there.
They got busted...
Not all of them. A lot of buds remain unopened, embryonic and hopeful. But enough of them look ragged to give this gardener a royal pain in the heart. Petals are twisted and cropped off. Stamens are broken. Leaves sport ripped holes, the garden's fashionable interpretation of a modern teen's jeans.
They certainly aren't able to perform at their best. And considering the fact that a year's worth of dormancy and replenishing and waiting and growing are needed for a few weeks' worth of colour, any damage is costly.
This season has been the toughest on record. For the first time ever, I considered quitting. Torching the garden. Paving it -anything else but tending to its travails which follow one after another, one at the other's heels. It is too discouraging to watch all the labours of love go to such ruinous waste.
Such is life, friend. Sometimes the sun hides for a year at a time. Sometimes bad guys walk free and liars prosper and your life story gets full of kinks. The hail comes at regular intervals, smashing what you hold near and dear to your heart.
But there is hope...
"To all who mourn in Israel (insert your own nation here!), He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for His own glory. They will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago..." Isaiah 61:3-4a
My heart thirsts for these promises! I want beauty, festivity, praise, joy, blessing - and the world hands me hail, time and again - just as it hands troubles your way. My heart needs to remember that after a time of chaos and trouble, eventually comes a time of rebuilding and repairing what has been so badly busted.
I look at my circumstances and think, 'Torch this impossible garden! There is nothing here but hail and wind and pests and pestilence from dawn to dusk!'
Then, I look at my God, and I think, 'God is big! My turn to rebuild is coming. My turn for beauty and joy is coming. My time for repairing and praise is coming - because GOD SAYS SO!'
I learn to see the beauty in the broken, the hope that has been a bridesmaid, but never a bride.
And I wait...