|my Stargazer lily shoot|
To my amusement, something is coming up late in my garden...Treavor's Christmas present!
For a present last December, I planted five Stargazer lily bulbs in my garden. These lilies are Treavor's favorite. Last year, while walking at a big market with Steph and her kids, we happened upon a merchant selling these bulbs, ripe with promise. It was actually Steph's idea, to plant them for Christmas. But, I stole her idea and promptly bought them. :) The merchant said that they would bloom in three month's time, so I planted them in early December and figured there would be plenty of time for us to enjoy them before we left for America.
I researched how and where to plant them, settled them in the dirt just right, positioned them in perfect afternoon sun, watered them faithfully and keep them properly drained (I read that if they stay too moist, they will die, for sure). For months now, I checked the soil for signs of life and even dug them up twice to see if they were even taking root! I felt like a gardening failure, and a bad present-buyer, for even trying to grow something I had no experience doing. But, a few days ago, I saw a blade of green hope popping up from the ground. Today, three of the five bulbs have sprouted. Joy and sorrow took me by surprise!
I feel joy; because something I planted and cared for is actually succeeding. I feel sorrow; because we are leaving for America in 4 days, and we will probably not be able to even enjoy their beauty. Someone else, probably my flower-loving neighbor I will entrust them to, will get to behold those awe-inspiring purple, pink and white splashes on its petals. I have sowed, and someone else gets to reap the benefits.
The picture of words that I am painting above about my lily plants really spoke to me this morning as I thought about our work here. I even started humming that famous 60's song "Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season)"...you know, the one that was basically copied out of Ecclesiastes 3:
1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
|One of my five orchids that are sprouting new branches for future blooms|
|my orange tree's mini-fruits, not quite ready to eat|
|my jasmine flowers, on the verge of blooming and spreading an unforgettable scent!|
When we left from America over three years ago, there were so many thing that we left that were in the middle, or right about to come to be; marriages, births of babies, changes in families, deaths of loved ones, divorces, people moving cities, leaders coming in and out of influence, political changes, etc. We came here and "missed" these things coming to fruition. Some good, some bad...but it was change, all the same.
And now, as we have sowed into the nation and people of Thailand, into the lives of others, and endured changes in our own family, we are leaving for a season to enter back into another land that looks different than how we left it.
I am leaving my Stargazer lilies, my orange tree, my orchids and my jasmine plants, all on the verge of blooming and bearing fruit...to partake of the fruit of a season that we have been located far away from for years now. Although we are leaving friends and work that is on the brink of intense change, there certainly is a season for everything. Can we just have a season for breaking down and never for building up? Or, seasons of laughing and never for weeping? I am trying to prepare myself to be ready for whatever season is ahead. Wherever we are going and whatever we are going to meet, God is already there.