Father Mark, Reflections

Resurrecting an Old Cliché

I remember an old cliché used for a decade or so many years ago:  “Bloom where you are planted.”  Idyllically, we image plants and flowers being in an ideal landscaped or wide open fertile area, beautiful to behold.  Remember when our parents, grandparents and others taught us about the importance of growing things and how great care would go into enrichening the soil, fertilizing it, watering it, tending it, weeding it. 

I remember my first trip to the Rocky Mountains when I was younger.  One of the miniscule experiences that astounded me, and still does to this day, was when I would see wildflowers growing, not just in fields, but out of the cracks and crevices in rocks in desert areas.  I would examine the base of the flower and attempt to figure out to what the roots, void of soil, had attached themselves underneath the fine gravel in which it blossomed.  How on earth (no pun intended) did that seed, sprout, root, grow and flourish in a place like this?  I marveled at the mystery—especially when the flower was known to be difficult to germinate such as the Indian Paintbrush. 

It happened this morning as I was taking my walk up and down the north-southbound streets of town (while wishing that the gym would be open) that I occasioned on another anomaly that I did not expect to see.  Out of the crack between where the concrete curb and the tarmac road meet on which cars travel daily on S. Magnolia, I witnessed this:

My walking stopped as the unexpected mysterious miracle of “bloom where you are planted,” occurred again right before my eyes.  That no longer visible Indian Blanket seed that in the mystery of life created the flower, reminded me of Jesus’ referring to the mustard seed. 

Then I began thinking that each of us was also created in much the same way in the unseeable darkness of the womb, and once given birth, we have been placed in various soils in the human community.  Some of us have been planted in open fertile fields and some in cracks and crevices without having much to say about it. 

One of the challenges I find in life is to take root in whatever soil or rock for that matter in which I am placed.  In some places it takes a lot more work to root such as in rocks than it does to root in fertile soil.  What the miracle for me in all of this is that it is possible.  One of the great masters of a person who could adapt to any soil or rock in which he was planted was St. Paul.  “My God,” I gasp, at his seemingly mysterious ability to bloom no matter where he found himself.  I both admire and envy him as I long for a faith that would allow me to root myself in Christ no matter where I was, in what situation I found myself in and no matter how difficult it might be—without being agitated or doubtful about it. 

So now I ask that you pray with me to bloom where we are planted no matter what hardship or situation in which we might find ourselves—that we would find God and allow Spirit to find us.  And then to bloom—simply, but beautifully and joyously bloom reflecting the beauty and glory of God which he has created in each and every one of us. 

God, help us all, to bloom where we are planted, so that we might root in you fully, at all times and in all places.  Amen.

Fr. Mark