For the Living of These Days—A Word from Lauren Jones Mayfield

My neighbor has spent the last several years nursing a beautiful garden in her front yard. The hostas canvas the ground; the Lenten roses bloomed huge this spring, and the hot pink azalea captivates those who drive by it. So, you can imagine how sad we are that the underground water pipes need replacing. A backhoe spent the entire day yesterday turning her beautiful work into a giant pile of dirt.

It has me wondering about the courage to flourish. My neighbor was doing everything right for her garden: pruning, watering, and fertilizing, only to have her investment of time and grit, not to mention money, interrupted by something buried deep out of sight.

Life mimics this at times, does it not? Consider Brené Brown’s opening line in her new Netflix special, “Time is the big precious unrenewable resource.” To this end, we work to take care of where and how we spend our time and energy.

Yet, when life happens, or unwanted news arises, or interruptions cause pain, or systems are threatened, it might leave us feeling like we have just been spinning our wheels. Or worse, like our hard work is all for naught, especially if at the end of the day everything seems to be nothing but a pile of rubble. Does this render the beauty insincere?

I think not! As an Easter people, we place our hope in new life and the power of regeneration, healing, and resplendent growth… even when life is dirty and messy, or on the surface a waste of time. Like Brené Brown reminds us, the courage to flourish comes from the power of vulnerability. That is our ability to risk it all for that which we believe. To live big. To aim high. To go strong. We do this not ignoring the threats, but with the intention of not being held captive by them.

Just as my neighbor’s garden will regrow with her watchful care, so too, does the promise of resurrection inspire us to keep tilling and watering our own lives with courage and love.