My brand new, fresh-out-of-the-box amaryllis bulb did not grow and bloom last year as I hoped. I followed the step-by-step instructions—I put the premixed potting soil into the plastic pot, planted the bulb so the top third remained exposed above the soil, placed the pot on a table where it would get indirect light, and began watering it regularly.
Since the stem had already started growing while still inside the box, I hoped for a tall strong plant topped with bright red flowers like the ones on the outside of the box. But while the stem did grow a couple of inches, it failed to thrive, and instead of flowers, all I got were leaves.
I was disappointed that my amaryllis bulb didn’t flower—“compost it, and get another one next year,” some advised.
But I wasn’t ready to give up on my dream of flowers just yet. I kept watering the bulb, hoping that the healthy dark green leaves would store up enough energy so the bulb might bloom the following year. I let it rest in a cool, dark closet for the required eight weeks of dormancy. I wrote about my waiting and watching in expectant hope as my unexpected symbol of Advent.
When the eight weeks were up, I waited another couple of weeks just to be sure, then re-potted the bulb in fresh soil. The bulb and its roots looked healthy, so again I was hopeful—and again I waited.
Two green shoots emerged a couple of inches away from the bulb, showing that the main bulb was producing smaller offset bulbs, but the main bulb itself remained unchanged. No stem. Not even leaves.
Then suddenly after weeks of waiting, a shoot emerged from the main bulb, and steadily grew until flower buds appeared and blossomed into these beauties:
Wow! My year of waiting, tending, and hoping for flowers was abundantly answered! I’m so glad I hadn’t consigned the bulb to the compost heap after all. New life was waiting to break out in a most beautiful way!
So if you’re waiting for something today, if you’re carefully tending a deep hope but not yet seeing results, if you’re working and watching, and watching and working, and running out of patience—don’t be too quick to toss it all away.
Instead, take some time to consider carefully. Is this really a time to stop tending that deep hope, to set it aside, and find a new one? Or is this a season for persevering and continuing to wait? What may look lifeless may indeed be holding new life stirring deep within, and just as I found with my amaryllis bulb, perhaps your patience will one day be awarded in a stunningly beautiful way.
And now, O Lord, what do I wait for?
My hope is in you.
Writing/Reflection Prompt: As a time of preparation for Easter, Lent is a time of waiting. Echoing the words of the psalmist, What do you wait for?
COVID-19 Notice: This event has been cancelled. Stay safe and healthy!
When: Saturday, April 18, 10am-3pm.
Where: 33911 Hazelwood Avenue, Abbotsford, B.C., north entrance – hosted by Valley CrossWay Church which meets at Calvin Presbyterian Church.
What to Bring: Paper and pen, journal, coloured pencils, tablet, laptop, or whatever else you’d like to write with. Your creativity, curiosity, and your own mug for coffee/tea/water. One or more friends – just make sure you each pre-register.
Cost: $65 including coffee break and lunch, but it will again be “pay what you will.” If you’re able to pay the full workshop fee, think of it as an investment in yourself to stop procrastinating and start writing. If funds are an issue for you, please feel free to pay what you will or simply to attend. Either way, please pre-register with the form below.
Register: To help our planning and to enter for a draw prize, please register on or before Monday, April 13. The draw will take place at the workshop, and you must be present to win. Just fill out the following, and don’t forget to click on the Submit button.
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