Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Purpose for the seasons

I wonder where my place is where I've been planted.

How can I bloom {here}, Father?

I'm reminded of a woman I know, who knows a woman who is quite possibly facing death earlier than we are.  The woman who is not quite my friend - who is my son's friend's mother - makes me remember that only God knows.  She tells me the story of a woman's recent challenge, and asks me what the community I work within can do to help this woman -  ill with bone cancer in her early 40s.

{I gasp and remember that I'm not immune from this tragedy striking my family.}

I feel insignificant in a huge world of cancer.

All I can think to do is mention this to my boss - a vice president at the educational institution where I work as a development officer - and he responds that he and his colleagues are "on it."  They have connected with one of the college's board members whose wife works at one of the world's premier cancer centers, and she connected with one of the top physician's in the category of treatment the cancer-poisoned woman needs for hope.

An appointment was granted and a family's life changed.

I just-so-happened to literally jump in a car this weekend with the woman who made the connection at her place of employment - the hope-giving woman.  This woman and her husband, the chair of our campaign, are financially wealthy.  Like, really rich. And yet, they still have heart.  They are {really} rich in kindness.  We were at the same event and catching a ride up College Hill to another event during the college's Reunion Weekend.

I was glad for the community I am a part of, and even more grateful when I turned around to meet her acquaintance and thanked her for making that connection for the family.

And I realized that I truly am connected to this community.  My roots are planted here.  I was married here.  My grandfather attended this fine academy.  I was raised in this town.  I left and returned to this special place.

My job - developing relationships with alumni to make financial gifts for others to have the same opportunity - inspires hope.  I am connected to hope.  I tell stories of lives changed through the generosity of scholarship, and I bloom hope that gifts are used for purpose.  I tell meaningful stories that inspire.

"I was happy to do it...and truly, it was easy," was what the {ever so warm} generous woman said in response to the connection she made with an esteemed physician and to her influence in a family's story of hope.

Though it was "easy," she still did it.  She could have looked the other way.  She could have said that she doesn't make connections like that, or for these types of people - who happened to be faculty members at the academy where her husband attended and now serves, and where they both give of their time and money.  She didn't have to do it.  But she did.

I run this morning and pass several houses with planters newly lined with rich soil and beautiful flowers.  I wonder how I can bloom here.  This story comes into my heart and my mind.

One woman bloomed *hope* with making a connection.  I can bloom hope by telling the story.

And my gratitude expressed to that rich-in-kindness-woman may have let her know that people were connected to the story, and that she did make a difference.

All along my run I hear the words - bloom where you are planted.

Our roots stretch deep and wide - across the world wide web, across social classes, across professions, across countries, across hearts made by Him.

He plants us in people's lives for reasons and seasons.  
There is great purpose in His planting.  
And we honor Him when we notice.

I pass several people on my run this morning.  One man in particular gets me to notice.  I see him often and always wonder why he doesn't reciprocate a friendly hello.  And today, he responds to my cheerful "Morning!" and a smile.

*Hope* blooms when he smiles and says "Good morning!"  I am stricken with humility.  Yes, it is a good morning, indeed!  It's not just {duh!} morning, it's a good morning.

More flowers.  More reminders to bloom.

Another runner gets me to notice.  I {sort of} know her.  She is ten years younger than me and my Groom has suggested that I get to know her.  I wonder the benefit would be given our age difference.  I shirk at the thought and wonder why she'd be interested in me. Self-pity.  

And this morning when she smiles all cheerful at me, I am reminded of a woman - now my friend - who I met on our two-year-journey to a different land with wide open spaces for me to grow - and how we both learned about blooming where we are planted, and of being transplanted.

This friend is ten years older than me.  We have hopes for our family that together pret' near sum up  *impossible*.  Yet, we have faith in what we've been told.  We grow - we bloom - from our roots being crossed and now weaved together.  I pray for her this morning and proclaim His truths and how He will fulfill what He has promised to us both.

The end of my run draws near and it all comes together now.  I think of the woman who is not quite my friend - the mother of my son's {best} friend - and how I've wondered what the point is in getting to know her now that I know that she and her family are moving.

Again, I'm stricken with humility.  There is purpose.  

I've been connected to a story and her life-roots weave with mine, and with so many others, and our lives are touched because of it.  We grow.

We bloom grace and beauty, love and purpose.  

There is purpose for the beauty of the seasons, even though they are brief.  

Our roots stretch down low and deep, wide and far.  And I'm a part of the story.  I'm connected.

There's purpose in my telling you this story, and in my writing it.  I see the Truth splashed about.

Father, God, help us to bloom - to say yes, when it's hard and even when it's easy.  Inspire us to obey your calling for our lives.  And, help us to honor you where we're planted.  



  1. Oh, this is beautiful. I love your choosing to say yes to hope, to offering His hope, through doing whatever you can, even if to us, according to the timing of this world, it doesn't seem to make sense. Love the journey of you running, too, the powerful descriptions of whom you meet and how each impression we make on people we meet can have an impact, if that is how He wants to use us. Beautiful encouragement! Thank you! I am treasuring this. I needed this this morning.

  2. Thanks Amy--I needed the reminder that we are to bloom where we are. I am having a really hard time being grateful to be where I am lately. This was a nice reminder to me that I am here for a purposem that we are all her for a purpose. Thanks.

  3. I love the way you end this with "we are part of the story"... We don't see it most of the time, but if we step back, open our eyes, make those connections, there is so much we can do. Right here, right now.