(Thank you to Brendan Armitage for writing this week’s devotion)
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”Psalm 51:10
Canna lilies are tall plants, often 8′ high, with shiny, broad tropical leaves and topped with these dramatic stems of red or orange flowers. This time of year, they’re hard to miss.
But I did miss them; for 14 years. When we had kids, I gave in to reason. I tilled under my large perennial garden’s plants, and planted grass seed on that soil. For 14 years, we’ve been mowing that area, every week in the summer. Not once have I seen a peep of the canna plants I had, 14 years ago.
Until this summer. We were invaded by Bermuda grass. I don’t know when exactly, but brown all fall, winter, and spring, and rapacious in its growth all summer, that vining Bermuda grass took over our backyard, until we sprayed and killed it this summer, and then all was brown…awaiting the fall when the time would be right to plant grass seed.
So, my story should be about death and resurrection, right? But it’s not. My story is about those canna lilies, from 14 years ago, unthought of and untended for those 14 years, miraculously reviving and arising in my expanse of browned turf these past few months, and growing, and growing, (and some even flowering), to heights of 4′ or more. These amazing green growths, all over an otherwise fallow field of brown that has been my backyard. They were alive all this time…waiting.
My story today is about revival. It’s Fall now, and time to come back to church. Time to revive that fallow faith that may have lain dormant beneath your plans of summer. My story is that even as you wander, God is with you. Always with you. Walking beside you, and there to offer you a way home.
My canna lilies waited. 14 years they waited for an opportunity to arise, to grow, and to be beautiful once more. And God waits. Within you. Waiting for you to come home.
We have in our cranberry book the hymn that goes: “Softly and tenderly, Jesus is calling. Calling all sinners, come home”.
So, as you wander about in this magnificent Fall weather, let that hymn (you know the melody) work through you as you drive, take a walk, or while you’re folding your wash. Pray for the recognition that there is more in you than you’re letting grow. Pray that you might listen to Our Lord and let that which is within you, revive and grow. There is something big and beautiful inside of you, waiting within you, waiting for it’s time to be revived, and to grow as Mission in your life. Maybe this Fall is that time?
See you in church.