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March 28, 2013

Quiet Corner: A green place

MERIDIAN —     “My mind went at once to my tulips, frozen into the black soil of the bed. My imagination burrowed in like a mole and saw, in the center of the frozen bulb, a green place — quick and alive and radiant, the force that survives every winter blast and flies up, in spite of itself, to green spring.”

— Jan Karon, "A Light in the Window"

 

         After receiving the gift of an Amaryllis bulb in October, I placed the box containing the bulb on top of the refrigerator.

    For days, I promised myself that I would purchase a pot, place potting soil in it, and plant that bulb. My procrastination lasted throughout October, November, Christmas, and New Years.

    By the second week of January, feeling really guilty, I muttered to myself, “This is really ridiculous. I could have had a beautiful Amaryllis sitting on the coffee table during the holidays, and now it’s too late.”

    I then opened the box to take one last look at that pitiful bulb before throwing it out. To my surprise, I found not only the bulb but also a plastic pot and a bag of potting soil.

    Of course, by this time the bulb looked sad and hopeless. But when I examined it more closely, I saw that tiny shoots had pushed out of the top in an attempt to grow. Those pitiful shoots haunted me—I just knew I had aborted a gift of nature.

    Nevertheless, I decided to plant that sad looking tuber anyway. I followed the directions, planted the bulb in the plastic pot, watered the soil, and placed it in a bright window. The very next day, I couldn’t believe what I saw — the shoots seemed to have new life, and they were turning green. By the next day, those shoots were a rich deep green, and they were actually growing.

    Leaning toward the light, my Amaryllis grew taller, and then an exquisite flower unfolded. This happened because of the green place at the center of that bulb — a life-force that wouldn’t give up.

    Blaise Pascal, mathematician, physicist, and theologian, said: “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person, and it can’t be filled by any created thing. It can only be filled by God.”

    Jesus died for my sins and rose again so that He could come and live in my heart. In my heart that was once dark is now “a green place, quick and alive and radiant” with possibility.

    This is an awesome truth! Nevertheless, if I ignore His presence and grieve His Spirit, my potential will remain tightly enclosed like that of the unplanted bulb. But if I honor His presence and yield to Him, something unique will unfold.

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