We were in our emerging front yard, home for three years to a giant angry stump and some haphazard grass, when she said it. Our entire home group had gathered to help us install drought tolerant plants. She was handing me some cilantro and parsley from her own yard and I was dreading, just a little, that I might place it wrong and kill it from lack of shade or poor access to water. And that’s when she told me:
“If you’re going to grow things, sometimes some of them are going to die. That’s just how the process works.” – Lisa Alvord
And it was like my entire being just took a huge breath.
If you’re going to grow things, sometimes parts of them are going to die. It’s just how it works.
And that moment, in the full sun of my bare front yard, might just have saved me.
You see, I’m growing four beautiful humans right now. And they’re very full of complicated parts. As much as I try to be Superwoman, I ultimately fail regularly at providing just the right amounts of sun, shade, water and fertilizer for each of their hearts, spirits, minds and bodies. None of them came with their instruction manuals. Some were left neglected for too long in places without much sun. Others have been moved from climate to climate far too many times. They come to me now, with such unique needs, how could I possibly know what’s best all the time?
If I’m supposed to be God, holding all things together by the might of my power, I’m failing. If I’m supposed to be a superhero, saving the day through my incredible talents, I’m falling short there too.
But what if decided to let myself be human? To accept the limitations of the growth process? To remind myself that the very way creation has been designed is that there are seasons of life and death, cycles of growth and falling back. That when seeds fall into the ground that’s where new life comes from?
What if I let God be God? What if I let myself off the hook? What if I accepted the limitations of growing things? What if I breathed again? What if I trusted that there will always be some death (to dreams, hopes, wishes and plans) involved in this business of nurturing life? And that it might not be just my dying to myself. It might be my sweet little ones experiencing their own cycles of growth, dying back and regrowth.
Taking deep breaths today, as Jesus waits, silent in the grave. From death comes life.
It happened once. Cyclically, it happens again in our lives too.