It's a day in late summer when I'm standing in the middle of rows and rows of plants. I'm choosing pots of beauty, bringing them home to a garden beside the little green house with a purple door. It's well past bloom time for most of what I'm buying, and I'm hunting around, reading tags, trying to imagine the kind of beauty these plants are hiding.
I'm buried in the "Full Sun Perennials" when I read these words on a tag: Fragrant cream flowers with purple centers. And of course I'm sold because purple's been the color I've loved since I was just an awkward girl trying to find a way to grow up. I put it in my cart and I don't know it yet, but I'm whisking it away to a life that's just weeks away from falling to pieces.
It's much later when I take note of this beauty's name. Hemerocallis 'Pandora's Box.' And it's later still when I understand what it means.
Because I might've thought I knew what it meant to be a daylily, but how could I have understood that each bloom would open full and stunning, only to fade away after a single day of beauty? Who really wants to accept that today is the only day we have to live?
It's three years later and I've uprooted, fallen apart, tried to rebuild a life. Not everything's still alive after all the heartache we've seen, but this one plant, she's become the symbol of our hope.
She might die back into the darkness of the ground when Winter's here and it's hard to breathe, but she's still fully alive, waiting for redemption. And she might spend long months growing leaves and buds in the spring, only to open up her blooms for just a single day a piece. But isn't that what we're all made for anyway? To live here, in this moment He's given, knowing it may be the only one we have?
Oh, we're made for a future we can't see, a purpose we can't fully know, a life beyond all the here and now. But each moment on this earth? It's a gift. And we're meant to live it fully open, all His beauty shining forth from our broken jars of clay.
Most of us have been given much more than a single day to live, love, leave His mark in the world. But how many days have we wasted--how many have I wasted--afraid of what's to come, afraid of how this ends, afraid to be who we are? Maybe I haven't thrown away every last one, but oh, too many have slipped through my hands.
And I watch 'Pandora's Box' open her blooms wide, let all the beauty come out of hiding. She doesn't save anything for tomorrow because today is all she has. I might wish I had more time, more strength, more ability to bring Him Glory. But what if I truly believed that what I have right now--this day, this strength, this ability--is all I have to give Him?
Then I might finally understand what's been true since I was born. Every day, every moment, every bit of strength and courage and hope--it's a gift. A drop of pure Grace, falling down from the God Who Loves.
And it's then that I might finally start to live. The way He's always wanted. Heart and hands open wide, Him spilling out, me breathing in everything He's given. Not afraid of tomorrows, or unhappy endings, or people who won't love me back. Not afraid to be who I am.
Because it's true. This moment, this strength, this ability--this woman I am--it's what He's given me and it's all I have to give Him in return.
And the most beautiful miracle of all?
This moment, right here and now, it's enough to build a life. A life that pleases, glorifies, gives everything to the One Who's already given us His All.
1074. Warm days and nights, summer really here
1075. Strength to accomplish a task, even if it's small
1076. Courage to overcome a fear, even if it's a little one
1077. Clouds and wind and rain...reminder of Fall's coming
1078. Friend who waits when words are hard to find
1079. Shared tears, hugs, life
1080. This moment, this day
1081. Who I am right now
1082. Being enough
1083. Every drop of Grace falling down, reaching even me