Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Where Hope Grows

I peer over the headboard that was already old when I was using it as a hobby horse so many years ago, and through the window screen to the rain gauge.  It's brand new, and has yet to be baptized in heaven's bounty.  Too dry.  Too hot.


It is so dry that we are using drip lines to give long drinks to the live oaks around the house. The trees are hardy, but they have been tested through too many dry summers. 



The pond is empty and cracked.  In Texas, you call a pond a pond if it has fish in it, and a tank if your livestock drink out of it.  Nothing is swimming or drinking out of ours.

The cowbirds that stopped in every morning last summer looking for breakfast are somewhere else these mornings.

The chaos caused by too many boxes in too tiny a house is easing a bit.  There are more and more oases of space as the boxes are emptied and places created for the contents.

A few days ago I was walking through a store and my eye was caught by a decorative box in the shape of a book.  Curious that, as the bane of my existence right now are the boxes of my and my Dear Professor's books still waiting for a home.

But this was different.  More than anything it was the words that drew me.  "Where hope grows."


I carried it with me as my daughter looked at chairs and my sister-in-law hunted rocker cushions, and the words echoed in my heart, "where hope grows."  

Hope needs a place, a place to be, a place to grow, every bit as much as those books in boxes.  Every bit as much as my Dear Professor and I need a place to be and to grow.

I am a plant uprooted, torn from 20 years of soil fertilized and watered by loving hands, and hardened by grey Pennsylvania winters.  I am transplanted in Texas gumbo clay parched by the sun.

 I need hope like that clay needs rain. 

The train whistle blows and the coyotes howl, and my heart howls for hope.  How can any of us live without it?  My heart is such a tiny space, so quickly cluttered.  Is there room for the important, or has it been squeezed out by the urgent?

"What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important."
Dwight D. Eisenhower

As we approached the checkout counter, I put the box back on the shelf.  The box was just a reminder.  A love note from the heart of the One who is hope.  I don't need another box.  I just need to let go of the unpacking and the chaos and the worry and the "what ifs".  Clear them away to make room for hope.

Clear them away to make my heart a place "where living hope grows."

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade."  1 Peter 1:3-4 (NIV)