As I’ve mentioned before in “The Growing Zone”, horticulture and the world of landscaping and gardening can serve as a backdrop to either reflect or expose what is going on or growing on inside of us. The stories of a garden are in many ways the stories of life, and sometimes I simply have to remember the truths that God has taught me through my interaction with His botanical handiwork to gain direction for other areas in my life.
When one of my sons was young and wanted to be outside with me while I was working in the yard, he decided he would help me by pulling up all the “weeds” that were in one of my flower beds. By the time I got over to see what he was doing, over 200 of the crocus and daffodil bulbs that I had planted the previous fall had been pulled up. I was aghast. But the hardest thing to bear was the misunderstanding in my son’s face when, after he had thought he worked so hard to help me and couldn’t wait to see my pleasure, all he saw was dismay and disappointment. That precious relationship between mother and son, between nurturing soil and growing bulb was briefly interrupted. Forgiveness became the soil that regrew relationship as we worked together to replant bulbs and restore what had been removed. Some of the bulbs survived, some did not, and some didn’t bloom until the following year.
Over the years I have found myself on both sides of the forgiveness field – the one needing to forgive and the one needing forgiveness. Sometimes I have been the unwitting puller of crocus causing deep disappointment in another. Left to lie on top of the ground, a relationship that has been pulled by its roots because of words or actions that have been misunderstood or misspoken will never have a chance to bloom again. Restoration comes when forgiveness is coupled with genuine sorrow and repentance where needed. With tears as healing rain and understanding as healthy sunshine, regrowth can begin.
My gardening friend, Helen Weis, recently posted this with the comment that “Forgiveness is not what effects them… Forgivess is what effects you.”
My wish this Christmas season is that regrowth and restoration be accomplished within all our lives. The Christmas story is one of love and redemption, and most of all about forgiveness.
“Mary, Did You Know” video