Monthly Archives: April 2018

Snow crocuses

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Back in October, I wrote a post about planting bulbs. I was hoping that I would start to see some signs of life in mid March… but it wasn’t until Easter weekend that little green spikes started to emerge from the earth. I was pumped, especially considering the symbolism- new life and our celebration of the resurrection all in one weekend!

And then April happened: wild fluctuations in temperature and weird precipitation patterns, culminating in last weekend’s ice storm and dump of snow. My heart sank for my tender little shoots, assuming that they’d been crushed under the weight of all that ice and snow. My mom (the seasoned gardener that she is) assured me that they would be fine, but I’ll admit that I had my doubts.

And then (oh, me of little faith), they BLOOMED! It felt like a miracle, even though I know it happens every single year.

Sometimes life in community feels like this. You plant seeds of friendship, knowing that you may not see much happen for a long while. You live through some dark, wintry times. Then you see little green sprouts in the hearts of folks in your community, or in your own heart. You rejoice, and might even pat yourself on the back for your patience. Spring has come!

Then there’s a big old ice storm. It seems that all the progress you saw has been squashed. You’re reminded that you’re really not in control of this process at all, and that any hope you have for continued growth will not come from your own limited resources. The earth is faithful, and will do its work in its time.

And even though you know that all this is true, and those who have gone before you remind you that things will be okay, you still have doubts.

And sometimes things don’t work out the way you’d like them to. Sometimes your crocuses come up a different colour than you imagined, or they’re smaller that you thought they would be. And that’s okay.

As I look at my snow crocuses, I remind myself of these truths.

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Love and pride

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I’ve had a line from a song by Sara Groves running through my brain recently: “love and pride can’t occupy the same spaces, baby, and only one makes you free.”

As this line runs laps around my brain I keep noticing different aspects of it, as I view it through the lenses of various experiences.

As I mentioned in my last post, we’ve had some difficult experiences with a few folks at The Dale recently. During one interaction I needed to acknowledge that I had said the wrong thing at the wrong time. I saw the truth in that Sara Groves lyric, that I couldn’t be loving and self-defensive/prideful at the same time.

In other situations it became very apparent to me that pride is not the same thing as self-respect. Sometimes the most loving thing that we can do is to let someone know that they have crossed a line and need to take a step back. In these scenarios, love and self-respect must occupy the same spaces, and to mix up pride with self-respect is to do a disservice to ourselves and the other person.

Pride vs love.

Self-defensiveness vs self-respect.

These are big topics, which we as a staff team are sorting through, in theory and in practice. The hope and prayer is that as we do, love will make all of us increasingly free.