Seedlings bring message of hope

A couple of weekends ago the weather was gorgeous. Clear skies, sunshine, warmth. I and my neighbours emerged from our houses after a long winter to walk or to putter around in the yard.

Seedlings bring message of hope

Seedlings bring message of hope

A couple of weekends ago the weather was gorgeous. Clear skies, sunshine, warmth. I and my neighbours emerged from our houses after a long winter to walk or to putter around in the yard. Not only were trees beginning to bud and tulips peek through the earth but it was like people were coming to life.

I do a little bit of gardening and this year I decided to start a few plants indoors to get a head start. I haven’t done it in a few years but it was fascinating as I saw bits of green begin to poke through the ground. How can it be? A seed which was dry and hard and dead is placed in the ground, buried. Yet in a few days or weeks life emerges. A seedling, tender, fragile and alive.

So I sat there looking at these seedlings and began to ask, what is it about these seedlings that is so fascinating? What message to they have for us, what do they tell us? What power do they have? What is it about springtime that makes our spirit soar, our bodies gain new energy and our hands begin to work? It makes something happen inside of us. It happens not only with spring but when calves are born to cows, when babies are born. It takes place in the morning when the sun brings colour and warmth to the world or when we begin to build something and it starts to take shape.

As I sat and stared at that seedling I realized that its message was of hope. The hope of life, of newness of something better. The promise of goodness and even greatness. It is a message that every one of us longs to hear. It is part of our nature, the way God has made us. And when we hear or see that hope it brings a change inside of us. The power of that plant, rising from the dead seed, is that it kindles within us a quality, a characteristic, a nerve that lives in us and needs to be revived. That of hope.

The seedling conjures up dreams of what will come to be. In this case of leaves and a plant that will thrive and grow. I began to think ahead of the cucumbers that we will eat later in the year. It motivated me to keep watering the plant and caring for it. Although it was too early I even went out into the garden to prod the soil a bit and ponder where to place the seedling eventually. I began to work at the compost pile which would make the soil more fertile. All this because one little seedling sprouted. Each time we see new things begin to grow or to take shape our sense of hope is rejuvenated. Life is worth living.

On the Good Friday before Easter I participated in the Walk of the Cross. We stopped at different places in town where we read the Easter story and then prayed. I was scheduled to pray in front of a vacant lot. It looked quite vacant, messy with a large puddle of water standing in the middle, almost desolate. To me it represented what life is sometimes like. But I prayed for what might be there, for hope. Imagine some flowers growing there or a building beginning to rise. Perhaps it was the seedling that inspired me with hope even for that vacant lot.

God has created a world that springs up with hope everywhere to spark in us that hope. Emerging life in the spring, brown lawns turning green, baby birds in nests, burnt forests in which a wide variety of plants begin to grow, wounded landscapes that slowly heal themselves, the sun which peeks through clouds. God has created such a world in order to touch us so that hope rises in us and we who then envision promise, a future, a greatness will also come to life.

The seedling also reminded me of Jesus, the ultimate symbol of hope. Buried in the ground, dead but he rose to life, alive. The seedling may stir in me hope but it is Jesus who has come to life who actually gives me life. The vacant lot is not the last word. Something great will eventually be there. Our desolate lives need not be the last word. New life can emerge. It is so because Jesus is alive and his life I see in the seedling.