I do believe that at age 50 I have acquired late-onset Attention Deficit Disorder! As I'm sitting at my desk trying to be ultra creative in designing a poster, what I see outside my window is so much more intriquing than what I see on my computer screen. And what I see outside my window got me thinking, so I thought I would write about it...
At the end of our front walk is a gate, and over the gate is an arbor. In the summertime, it is in full bloom with the most fragrant jasmine. For a short time in early summer it is graced with lovely yellow lady banks roses. And even in the most excruciating summer heat, orange trumpet vines flourish on the arbor, offering a cool shade to whomever might want to sit below.
In wintertime, the arbor looks kind of sad--only a bunch of desolate vines begging for the blooms of spring to "gussy" them up! When I walk beneath it, I hear rustling deep inside those vines where some sort of bird has managed to find refuge and warmth. On this particular day, as I look out my window, I am pleasantly distracted by the cardinal that has perched himself in the tangle of dormant vines. He sits there for a very long time. I wondered if he was staking his claim there, although it didn't appear that he had any competition. Currently, the arbor does not look like prime real estate for our feathered friends! Then I thought how the cardinal is not worried about today, because he knows that in a few months the arbor will be a luxurious dwelling place. It happens every year. The old, faithful vines come back. That is hope, and it gets us through wintertime and into spring.
When our lives are in the middle of winter (which, incidentally can happen in the middle of summer!), God gives us hope. It is all around us. We just have to look. For me, there's hope in an old couple sharing ice cream and in a little girl all bundled up with cheeks flushed from the cold and hot chocolate spilled all down the front of her coat. There's hope when there is a little rain shower when the sun is still shining, when I put on a pair of socks still warm from the clothes dryer and when I hold a steaming cup of tea in my hands. There is hope when I hear the voices of my children at the other end of the phone line. There's hope when I get an unexpected hug from a little boy who then, embarrassingly, tells me I'm pretty. And this morning, there's hope in a bright red cardinal sitting in a mass of tangled, dead-looking vine.
There is hope in laughter and hope in the smallest comforts. There is hope in good stuff! I believe these are gifts from God!
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, watever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you". --Phillipians 4:8,9
|the arbor in springtime...|