Ugly bulbs - Dwelling Spaces

Monday, 19 February 2018

Ugly bulbs

For the first time in a few years I have been growing an amaryllis lily.  When I planted the huge ugly bulb 5 weeks ago in a pot that was almost as big as the bulb I had forgotten what an extraordinary process it is watching the stem, bud and flowers emerge.  The stems are now 72cm!  And the flowers that have been opening in the last few days are quite beautiful. Who would have imagined all that life and beauty was waiting to burst free?  Certainly the look on my little nephews face when I showed him the bulb at Christmas said something along the lines of 'you must be mad, that is like the worst and weirdest Christmas present in the world!'

A couple of weeks ago my sermon was on 2 Corinthians 5.11-21.  In that passage, we are reminded that Jesus looked like nothing special, but turned out to be God, and so we should learn from this not to judge people by what we see.  God is at work in people bringing new life (new acts of creation the verse says). It can be pretty discouraging sometimes looking around at the world, wondering if things are going to change or whether they will stay ugly and broken.  And then I look at myself, and think about the changes that God has helped bring about in me, sometimes in the blink of an eye and sometimes in the imperceptible process of reflection, repentance and forgiveness.  We all look pretty ugly inside from certain angles, maybe in places so hidden from others that only God sees.  But watching my lily grow reminds me that God is not fazed by the ugly and the broken, because God sees the potential of life and beauty held within that and always wants to call it forth.

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