We Can Bloom, Even Between a Rock and a Hard Place

 

Bloom through the Driveway

Many people have witnessed a plant growing in the middle of a cement sidewalk or noted a flower springing forth from the middle of a concrete wall.  At the side of my driveway and up against the cement wall of my neighbor’s foundation, a small purple little flower demonstrates the possibility of growth under the most difficult of circumstances.  The picture above is of that pretty flower that blooms.

God expects his people to bloom wherever they are planted.  

In Philippians 1:12-14, the Bible tells the story of how Paul bloomed while he was in prison.  He realized that his current situation was not as important as what he did with the time he had.  Paul was facing release or execution.  He befriended the Roman soldiers and wrote letters encouraging Christians who were afraid.  Like Paul, we all must look for ways to bloom even when our movement is limited by law and could be dangerous to ourselves and others.

Here is the scripture:

Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.  As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ.  And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.

The Bible is filled with stories of hope.  Hannah. Mary. Ruth. Esther. Elizabeth. Rachel. Hagar. Martha. Rebekah. And many other stories of hope…

These women bloomed.

Once a plant blooms, it is thriving and flourishing and produces fruit; and once the fruit is produced, a seed develops, which ultimately produces a harvest.  We are witness to the countless people producing, like those who are sewing masks.  And everyday people who serve as essential workers in healthcare, grocery stores, delivery, truckers, public transportation, assisted living and nursing homes, EMTs, our National Guard and law enforcement, and all of the people cleaning in stores and healthcare facilities.  And parents.  And teachers.

A person can bloom wherever they have been planted just by helping others, which shows the love of God, and also when using one’s gifts and talents that God has given them.  People of faith must bloom wherever they are planted.  

Thank you for joining us for the Marble Women’s Ministry Lenten Blog this year.  We hope the blog inspired you and gave you some hope in this truly difficult season.  Please let us know what you thought of our blog.  And we hope you continue to pray for all who need our prayers right now.

Marcie Doll

Ode to Joy this Easter…

Sunrise

It was into a world like ours that Jesus was born.”  Sarah Christmeyer

And today we celebrate his resurrection!

Happy Easter!

“Christ the Lord is risen today, sons of men and angels say. Raise your joys and triumphs high; sing, ye heavens and Earth reply.” Charles Wesley

“This year, Easter will be different for many of us, but by keeping apart we keep others safe. But Easter isn’t cancelled; indeed, we need Easter as much as ever. The discovery of the risen Christ on the first Easter Day gave his followers new hope and fresh purpose, and we can all take heart from this.”  Queen Elizabeth II

“May the hearts of those who have enough be open to filling the empty hands of those who do not have the bare necessities.” Pope Francis

“Easter was about a tragedy that was turned into a triumph; about God working behind the scenes, invisibly, in ways that people didn’t know.  And if we work together with our God and together with each other we will find our way forward.”  Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Michael Curry

“The story of Easter is the story of God’s wonderful window of divine surprise.”  Carl Knudson

“Easter is meant to be a symbol of hope, renewal, and new life.” Janine di Giovanni

“I still believe in Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and true love. Don’t even try to tell me different.” Dolly Parton

While not a traditional Easter Hymn, I find great solace in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Ode to Joy!  Here are two versions and another song you might find helpful this Easter.

A street orchestra Flash Mob of Ode to Joy in Sabadell

A Socially Distant Ode to Joy

What the World Needs Now…

Happy Easter my friends,

Marcie Doll

The picture above was taken at dawn from close to the most eastern point in the United States, Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, Maine in 2017.