Story, Value, and Becoming More Real
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Considering Lilies

November 1, 2022

On Sunday, my daughter spotted a hummingbird sipping from my Canna Lilies. I stood there in the kitchen, arms full of groceries, while she showed me the clip of it on her cell phone. I was happy she’d caught the moment, even if the quality of the video was not great, on account of the dirty windows and pollen-laced screens. 

Those cannas are from last year’s planting. I’d seen a small pot of them at the local hardware store flashing their fuchsia petals at me, and I’d been unable to resist. At purchase, the pot had held only 3 stalks, but by the time I dug them up to put them away for the winter, I’d boxed up some 11 or twelve bulbs. I had no idea they spread like that. I bought them out of sheer delight and total ignorance. I only knew to dig them up and store them at the end of the season, because I’d seen our church garden team doing just that one early autumn afternoon. I’d missed the bit about how they would multiply.

Glory, hallelujah, what a stunning surprise.

This spring, when I unboxed them to replant them, I was surprised to discover that they’d already begun sprouting in the box. Not much, but still, those green tips were proof of life—tiny tendrils of hope. I kept my expectations low just the same. I hadn’t followed all of the proper storage directions. I’d cut corners, putting them to bed without the suggested bedding materials, hoping for the best. 

Planting them, I encircled our house, finding a spot in the flower beds for each root, hoping that they’d take. It was more than a month before I saw any real progress. In the days awaiting their blooms, I told myself if they refused to flower, it was my own fault for not storing them properly. I told myself that my haste to prep the flower beds for that first frost ought to be a lesson to me, and to remember and do it differently this autumn, when the days grow too full and too short all at once. And then one day, weeks after I’d planted the lilies, on a walk around the house to inspect their lack of progress, I saw the telltale crown of a blossom becoming. I lapped the house every day, waiting like an anxious mother to see if my pink ladies would unfurl their fuchsia skirts for me once more, and of course, you know how this story goes—they bloomed with all the wonder coded into their fibers from the dawn of creation. 

They’ve bloomed every day since—and are showing off even now, and they have multiplied yet again, their flashy petals calling out some secret song, bringing the hummingbirds back to the yard—the precious hummingbirds whose feeder I neglected to fill almost all summer long. 

I am consistently inconsistent, and still God uses the birds of the air and the flowers of my suburban field to remind me of His relentless faithfulness. The mercy and generosity of God’s steady provision despite my fumbling around never ceases to awe me. However imperfectly I fulfill my role, God tirelessly blesses even my most halfhearted of efforts. 

I came home from errands the other day only to hear that once again the hummingbird has returned in my absence. The girls didn’t get a video this time but kindly assured me that one of these days, I will get to see him enjoying my lilies. Maybe so. But even if not, seeing those flowers flash their pinky petals at me on my daily walk around the house is enough. They aren’t blooming because of anything I did.

They bloom because God is kind, because God is faithful, and because that is God’s purpose for them. 

Glory, hallelujah.



Featured image is courtesy of Cristina Glebova via Unsplash. We are grateful for her generosity.



 

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  1. Terri Moon says:

    “…His relentless faithfulness.” Oh my, that phrase takes my breath. It makes me realize that there are so many signs of His faithfulness in my world, like your lilies, that I fail to see and appreciate. Thank you for this lovely story, Kris.

  2. Mary Miller says:

    Considering! Our kind provisional Father goes beyond our insufficient human planning to generate beauty. Thank you for this encouragement.

  3. Tresta Payne says:

    Consistently inconsistent—raising my hand beside you! And yet He is faithful. I”m so glad to be in your company and under His blessing.

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