Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Urgency of New Life: A Meditation

Several months ago I received a geranium, and it has spent the summer happily in our sun porch, soaking up the warmth and getting watered on a fairly regular basis.

With the approach of autumn we brought it inside. Sadly, in that placement it has received less care than it deserves. But while I was on my retreat last weekend, it started to bloom again:

The thing I found so interesting about this is that the rest of the plant is dying. If you look closely, you can see that only the top few leaves are green, while the rest have withered and are crackly brown. In such a state, it instinctively sent up a flower in an effort to reproduce.

Also, a few weeks ago I was walking my daughters home from school when the elder one picked a flowering plant from the curb. She managed to get the roots intact, and was eager to plant it, so I found an old sour cream container and gave it to her. She found some loose soil and gave the plant another chance to flower in our home. Lo and behold, today it too started to send up a blossom.

This strikes me as amazing, for we live in an age where we view reproductivity as a burden and something to be shut down in order to enjoy life. Yet the flowers of the field know that producing offspring is the difference between life and death; between eternity and obsolescence. Without a next generation, there is no hope on earth for the living.

It pains me when I hear of married couples - Christian ones at that - who say they don't want children. I'm sure that many of them eventually give in to the biological instinct to reproduce, but even to start from that barren perspective is foolishness. Creating life is miraculous; plants and animals do it all the time and each time is a full-blown miracle. How much more so for we people who are created in the very image of God? If God creates us to be like him, we instantly know that we too must create, for that is what he did. It's like looking at a reflection of a reflection; it goes on and on and on.


  1. I must say that the timing of the new bloom is quite remarkable, if it's the same geranium I'm thinking of...

    This talk of not wanting to reproduce makes me think of two things.. The first is luke 23:

    "28Jesus turned and said to them, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. 29For the time will come when you will say, 'Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!' 30Then they will say to the mountains, "Fall on us!" and to the hills, "Cover us!" 31For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?" "

    The other is the movie "Children of Men", where humanity has lost the ability to reproduce, and, along with it, all hope for the future (and even the present). It was a pretty powerful reminder that the ability to create life, which we take so much for granted, is a gift from God, and it really shows that without families and children we are doomed to self-serving lives, which cannot ultimately bring us joy, hope, or purpose.

    So, uh, ... let's hear it for Life!

  2. "the ability to create life, which we take so much for granted, is a gift from God, and it really shows that without families and children we are doomed to self-serving lives, which cannot ultimately bring us joy, hope, or purpose."

    I totally agree with this and it hits home with me. I for one have chosen NOT to have children, why you may ask? I have many reasons. One of the big ones, is that I know I wouldn't have the patience to be able to raise a child. Being around my Nephew who is now 2 yrs old and now around my Niece who is almost 3 months old, I know I couldn't do it.I have had to take care of my husband all these years due to a lack of taking on responsibility around home, and also due to his iliteracy. And I have fought this for many years within myself. I believe it takes a strong person to accept the fact that not all people are meant to be parents. If only more people would think about it before having children, maybe there wouldn't be so many abused children, parents who kill their children, or run aways, or so many juvenile delinquints out there, due to the parents not caring and turning the other way. I also feel that for those of us who do not have children can still lead a happy life with purpose. Just our purpose is something else.And I get joy out of being part of my nephew and now my niece's life.

    This is just how I feel, I read this the other night and I had a strong desire to say something.But I held back til now. Thinking about something said tonight. So, Yea, Hope I have not made enemies here.

  3. No enemies here, Trish. We're all God's children, and I don't presume to evaluate anybody else's journey through life. All I try to do is let the light of God's truth shine.


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