Honestly, I’m not much of a green thumb. It might have a greenish-hue, but but definately not the caliber of many of my friends and coworkers with whom I tend to chat gardenish conversation. However, I do really enjoy working the the flower beds and garden and recently I did my first trimming of the rose bushes out front.
I find it quite amazing each spring to see the new life spring forth from the dead branches. Just a month ago I was about ready to trim the entire bushes down to stubs in hopes that something would grow. However, I let my patience work its way out (ok, really It was probably more of a laziness factor in getting outside and making it happen, but patience is such a “virtue” and laziness such a “vice” that we’ll go with patience) and now I’m seeing green.
I went ahead and trimmed off the dead ends and leaves today, careful to keep away from that which was sprouting. I did a bit of reflecting on the fact that the dead stuff is gone, but yet new life has come to replace it. The same flower doesn’t come back as last year, but that which gives it life brings about something new. Even more incredible is the fact that from a dead branch comes more life than what it held last year. There are twice the branches with new buds than with old, dead blooms.
Really, I don’t think it was a mistake that the crucifixion and resurrection happened in the spring… Jesus’ life is such a beautiful illustration of new life coming forth out of death and barrenness. That from death comes life, and life abundant. I believe it’s John’s gospel that speaks of the need for a seed to die in the ground before a new plant comes forth; that the cold, bitter times of winter and deadness are there but spring always follows with new life. It’s hard to think of the spring in the midst of winter… and there are times that you can’t really recall how green the grass is come April. But it arrives and we’re reminded of the realness of something we call hope.