Category Archives: Lent
I’ve grown soft, Lord,
I’ve been indifferent, Lord,
I’ve become complacent, Lord,
I am forgetful, Lord,
I am fearful, Lord,
I am neglectful, Lord,
Guide me toward wonder, Lord,
Lead me toward newness, Lord,
Rekindle the heart you created, Lord,
All that I am is yours.
Lord, be mine for all time.
And I, yours.
Something captures us in this story, these characters, and their theme song.
Oh, we’ve read it a thousand times, thanks to Disney. Beautiful princess is rescued by fair prince. No, wait! That’s not this story, these characters, or this theme.
This re-telling compels us because it’s an improbable love story; beautiful Belle, kind, caring, determined, compassionate, loyal, faithful and brave meets grisly Beast, gruff, angry, fearsome, loathsome, solitary and hiding. It captures us anew because she rescues him.
We listen to the flowing phrasing, melting voices, and honey-sweet harmony, even on popular radio, because we recognize this story.
It’s… Tale as old as time
True as it can be
Barely even friends
Then somebody bends
It’s… Bitter-sweet and strange
Finding you can change
Learning you were wrong.
It’s… Certain as the sun
Rising in the east
Tale as old as time
Song as old as rhyme.
Beauty and the Beast.
We want to be the Beauty, but we are the Beast. What a moment it is when, even as beastly as we are, the beauty of Love transforms us. It’s a tale as old as time.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ~ Romans 5:8
It’s that time of year again; trees a-flowering, flowers a-budding, buds a-popping, all giving way to the greening of leaves in canopies across the land.
Well, across the temperate land.
Here in Central Florida, everything stays green all year round. The palms, shrubs, and grasses wave happily in the constant breezes. Even cacti thrive in the sandy soil. What’s missing here is color, specifically, the diversity of color.
So, my green-thumbed husband ripped out all the scraggly (but green, to be sure) shrubs, replacing them with vibrantly colored flowers. What a happy difference! On St. Patrick’s day, he brought home “Paddy,” who wound merrily through a trellis that would allow her to climb up and along the bare side of our house.
Isn’t she lovely? Full of pastel pink flowers with stems intertwined, clambering up the wooden scaffolding?
But this is Paddy today. (My apologies to my friend Patty, in whose honor we named this beautiful new planting.)
She has dropped nearly all of her flowers. As I water her, and yes, whisper bits of encouragement, I search longingly for some new stems, new buds, or a bit of greening – just some signs of new life! But they are hard to find.
Paddy is suffering from transplant shock, my husband tells me. Common in plants that are uprooted and transported to new accommodations, they need time to get used to things and decide whether their new soil will be conducive to their needs. Life looks a bit bleak in the mean time.
Ironic, because given the size and plenty of the greenery here, I thought everything flourished. It seemed an everlasting spring. Apparently, I was wrong. The warm winter months which give way to warmer spring days are only the prelude to the hot, dry summer. If your roots don’t find good soil and plentiful water now, there’s not much hope for your future.
I guess that’s why the change of seasons are so important: a time to plant, a time to grow, a time to harvest, and a time to lay fallow. The seasons graciously allow us to send down our roots, grow up our stems, show forth our flowers and … and… and… to withdraw to gather our resources in times of hardship and prepare for the seasons that lay ahead.
Transplant shock, the product of our uprooting and the stark presentation of a new way of life, is jarring. Make no mistake: the buds on those trees which are now timidly unfurling and introducing themselves to new branches at new heights are the bravest of the brave. What courage it takes to strike out into the spring, come what may.
I am hoping Paddy will make it if I keep giving her some tender loving care. We have a certain camaraderie, she and I. Neither of us does transition very well, but our Maker knows this about us. We may not always show well in spring training; that’s our time to grow.