A thrill of hope: 100 flower bulbs
I’m one of those people that enjoys the variety of the four distinct seasons we experience here in the Midwest. Each season has its own way of communicating God’s beauty and gives us something different to experience. I love the first snowfall when everything is covered in a glistening white blanket but admit by March, I’m ready again for warmer days and green grass.
Every spring, I admire the beautiful flowers that emerge from the cold damp ground and regret that I didn’t have some in my own yard. When I walked into the store and saw a display of spring bulbs, I decided this was the year of no regrets. I purchased 50 tulip and 50 daffodil bulbs. As I was on my knees, digging in the dirt, I began to think about the amazement of God’s creation. How these bulbs that look like odd shaped balls would lie in the cold ground all winter and emerge in the spring as brightly colored flowers. I placed each bulb in the hole, anticipating it would bring joy this spring.
Just a few days later, our Golden Retriever, Ripley was tied out in the front yard keeping an eye on neighborhood activity when I discovered he was chewing on something. Since he’s only 18 months old, we are used to retrieving half-chewed items before they are fully digested. I was disappointed to find his item of choice was one of the newly planted flower bulbs instead of a chunk of mulch.
This reminded me of the hope we experience during Advent. Each year, we wait in anticipation to celebrate the first Advent, Jesus coming to us in the flesh as a baby, while we also wait for his return. Like Ripley chewing up the flower bulb, the world is not how it should be. Through faith, we trust that God is still at work in the world even when we might think God is hidden. A tulip emerging from the ground is a thrill of hope from a weary winter. God’s promise of returning is our sustaining hope.
Kristine Dohrmann is St. Paul’s visitation pastor. She and her husband, Jon, live in Davenport and enjoy hosting family gatherings, hiking, biking and playing cards.