An Ingredient for Growth
Dear Kaleid Ladies,
Good morning to you! It’s that funny Southern month of February when it can surprise snow or when the daffodils can suddenly appear, making us cross our fingers and hope that the seasons won’t crash into one another as they change.
As spring approaches, we notice growth, and some of the old standby lines play in our heads...
Enjoy the journey.
Life is a process.
One day at a time.
…All of the slow-it-down-and-notice quips that can either encourage us or frustrate us, depending on our mood.
Light and growth (even and especially slow growth) are intimately related. Since we’re talking about qualities of light during this Epiphany season, it is worth reflecting on the interplay of light and growth. Light, along with water, are the two ingredients we know we can tinker with as we pot our plants or plant our flowers or dig up and move our flowering bushes during the growing season.
Reflection (yep, still punny!)
In Revelation, at the very end, there is a picture of the new heaven and new earth. Fascinatingly, water proceeds from the throne of God and waters the trees that are “for the healing of the nations.” (22:2) The Spirit encourages any thirsty person to come and “take the water of life freely.” (22:17) God’s water is life giving, free, and flows abundantly right out of the center of God’s rightful place at the center of it all.
Just as fascinatingly, in John’s vision of the new creation, “the city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.” (21:23) The people can walk in the light, unhindered by the danger of night, and the trees can bear fruit every month in a perfect, unstressed cycle as God’s light generate growth.
Imagine…the extremes of sunlight and moonlight are no longer at play because God is the light. The stresses of drought and flood are no longer at play because the living water is steady.
In our own spiritual growth journeys, we struggle with dryness and darkness. We wish for all the glories of spring—for growth that appears out of nowhere. But we know from our own physical experiences that growth takes time. It takes light. It takes water. It takes seasons and years, and it takes perspective and maturity.
Even as we anticipate the perfect growing conditions of our eventual life-unhindered-with-God, we remember that God has already given us the Light of the World and the Living Water so that we can take one more barely illuminated step or warm ourselves on one more cold-ish day as we grow in our own capacity to let God’s life bloom in us and to offer that life to a dark and dry world.
Some Light Prompts for You
Find a sunny spot in your home and sit. If you’d like, pour yourself a glass of water, too. Appreciate the gifts of physical light and water. As you still yourself, ask the Spirit to remind you of the growth journey you’ve already had—the light God has provided you and the water God has given to you in your life.
Or, allow yourself to imagine your life unhindered—with all the elements for growth readily available. What darkness is dispelled? What thirst is quenched? How can you turn this reflection and your heart’s desires into your prayer today?
Or, you may want to read these scriptures and reflect on how light is related to your journey. What light do you have? What light do you? How has God already shed light on your path?
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light. – Psalm 36:9
In the daytime he led them with a cloud,
and all night long with a fiery light. – Psalm 78:14
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path. – Psalm 119:105
I will lead the blind
by a road they do not know,
by paths they have not known
I will guide them.
I will turn the darkness before them into light,
the rough places into level ground.
These are the things I will do,
and I will not forsake them. – Isaiah 42:16
Finally, here’s a C.S. Lewis quote for you to stir your spring-is-coming holy imagination:
“The miracles that have already happened are, of course, as Scripture so often says, the first fruits of that cosmic summer which is presently coming on. Christ has risen, and so we shall rise. St. Peter for a few seconds walked on the water; and the day will come when there will be a re-made universe, infinitely obedient to the will of glorified and obedient men, when we can do all things, when we shall he those gods that we are described as being in Scripture. To be sure, it feels wintry enough still: hut often in the very early spring it feels like that. Two thousand years are only a day or two by this scale. A man really ought to say, ‘The Resurrection happened two thousand years ago’ in the same spirit in which he says, ‘I saw a crocus yesterday.’ Because we know what is coming behind the crocus. The spring comes slowly down this way; but the great thing is that the corner has been turned. There is, of course, this difference, that in the natural spring the crocus cannot choose whether it will respond or not. We can. We have the power either of withstanding the spring, and sinking back into the cosmic winter, or of going on into those ‘high mid-summer pomps’ in which our Leader, the Son of man, already dwells, and to which He is calling us. It remains with us to follow or not, to die in this winter, or to go on into that spring and that summer.” - C.S. Lewis, “The Grand Miracle” God in the Dock (Eerdmans: 1970) 87-88.
We love you!
The Kaleid Team