Saturday, May 17, 2014

Weeding Hope

{I've been sitting on this post for almost three weeks now--seriously--because I haven't come to a good conclusion for it, and that's embarrassing. In consequence, I haven't written anything else either, which is also embarrassing. There is no logic to this, I'm aware. Anyway, in an attempt to move on with my life, I'm going to post this and hope I can get back to writing other things. Maybe one of you can find a way to tie this up a bit more neatly for me.}

In preparation for the Man's mother visiting a few weeks ago, I decided to tackle a few projects around the house that had been thumbing their noses at me. Don't worry, the house is now back to its usual state of post-twin disarray (yogurt finger smudges are the new wall decor and crayon scribbles the new faux carpet).

The Little Man being well aware of my driven tendencies, decided to get a jump on the work load by tackling some yard work while I was finishing my morning coffee. He came cheerily in from the backyard around the time I was deciding that I might actually want to face life and informed me that he'd taken care of the weeding for me.

Pause for effect.

Now, I will be the first to tell you that our yard is more weeds than anything else. In fact, it is more honest to say that we mow the weeds than mow the grass. So the sinking feeling that I had in my gut was completely unwarranted. There were certainly plenty of weeds to pull. But I've learned to trust the Mother Instinct over the last few years. It doesn't stop certain things from happening (like when Tiny dumped the entire bottle of baby wash that I had just bought) but catching my children in the act sometimes minimizes the damage. Anyway, the Mother Instinct instructed me to throw on a pair of shoes and go survey my newly "weeded" back yard.

Sure enough, littering the "grass" were all of the tulip bulbs that the Man had painstakingly planted two years ago.

I thought I was going to throw up.

And so that you are aware that this was an extreme over reaction, you should know that a total of one tulip bloomed this year, and it was short and runty. I have a black thumb, and we are in year three of Oklahoma drought.

I don't know, though… There was something about it. Until Littles pulled up those bulbs, I could keep hoping that they were going to bloom one last time before we moved. Once that possibility was removed, it felt…a little like grief. Which was weird. Because they were just. tulips. Unblooming ones at that.

At any rate, I thanked the Little Man for his weeding prowess, and we had a short discussion about what weeds are, and we proceeded to pick up all of my decimated tulips and move them to the trash bin. Somewhere in the midst of the clean up, Proverbs 13:12 came to mind, just the first part: Hope deferred makes the heart sick.

I truly hoped, however unfounded, that those tulips were going to bloom for me this year. They did last year. But all the rest of the tulips in this town had bloomed, and mine didn't show any signs of following suit.

Hope deferred, friends, hope deferred.

And the truth is that I wasn't going to get to see them bloom next year either since we won't be here next year but that's another story for another time.

So what's the point? I've been waiting three weeks to figure that out.

I feel like there should be some great revelation in the second part of the verse, "A desire fulfilled is a tree of life."  I know this. I'm getting The Man back today--desire fulfilled, tree of life. But I think the question I am raising is how do we heal a heart that's been made sick by a deferred hope? And no, I'm not just talking about uprooted tulips here.

When the grief of broken hope has tangibly sickened our hearts, where do we go? Yes, I  know the easy answers, the quick neat bow to tie on this, but I'm questioning how we plant new desires in sickened soil and then wait to see if those seeds turn into trees of life.

For the woman who has suffered through miscarriage or still birth. For the one in the midst of a broken marriage. For the person who has relapsed into depression or sickness or, yes, even sin. When we are confronted by the death of our hopes, where do we go? What do we do?

Is it really as simple as waiting on Jesus to bring healing and new growth (and perhaps facing the reality that there's nothing we can do in and of ourselves and there never has been)?

I told you: no neat conclusions, but I'm going to go ahead and put this one out there so I can stop thinking about dead tulips and the existential side of weeding. 

1 comment:

  1. Interesting to read again and see what's happened from when you posted this and now, July 25, 2016.