Friday, March 05, 2010

A Little Lent 3C

Luke 13:1-9

There have been tiny little daffodils blooming in my yard for the past week or so.  The delicate yellow blossoms are perfect miniatures of the real thing, as though they were planted by dolls.

The real thing is getting to bloom outside my kitchen window.  I think.  I thought the lone bud (the first of many, I hope!) would bloom last week.  Then I thought it would bloom over the weekend.  Then I thought surely, after being gone for most of this week, I would return to find its yellow cup and saucer drinking in the early spring sunlight.

But no, my daffodil remains a bud.  I feel certain that it will, in the end, burst out in a blaze of beautiful petals.  I will admit, though, to some frustration on my part - bloom already!

For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none, said the man in Jesus' parable.  Cut it down!  Why should it be wasting the soil?  The gardener replied, Sir, give it one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it...

Parables, like seeds, will grow in us if we dig around them, tend them, water them, and spread a little fertilizer of prayer and patience around them.  Perhaps we are like the man who is frustrated by a life bearing no fruit.  Perhaps we are like the gardener, eager for one more chance, ready to recommit to care.  Perhaps we are like the fig tree, desiring nothing more than to be who we were made to be.  Perhaps we are like the dirt, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, that just needs a little more tilling, a little more digging, a little more help to be fertile and creative and generative.

It often took time for parables to bear fruit in the disciples' lives.  The season of Lent allows us to take that time, to dig around, to practice prayer and patience, to look forward in hope to the promise of spring returning where there seemed to be only winter, of life returning where there seemed to be only death.  For even more surely than I know my daffodil will bloom, God knows that we, too, will soon burst out in a blaze of beautiful new life, our faces turned to the risen Son.  Amen.

Artwork: Photos from my yard; "Fig Tree," by Paul Klee.

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