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Stretching Out

I don’t know if I’ve ever noticed a vase of tulips like this before.

For our Easter family meal last week, I purchased half a dozen of fresh, spring tulips for a centerpiece. As forks clinked on the plates piled with ham, mashed potatoes, asparagus, and other delicious foods, and conversations and laughter filled the room, those tulips stood high and tall in a glass vase filled with water.

The yellow, peachy-colored pedals on the tulips, with the sun shining on them create a bright orange color with a deep red at the base of the bloom. Beauty.

When the day came to an end after all the leftover food had been divided among the family to take home, the dishes washed, and the tablecloth thrown into the laundry room, the tulips remained in our dining room the rest of the week.

The next day, though, as I walked several times by the table, it appeared that the tulips were beginning to droop. Looking in the vase, I made sure the flowers hadn’t drunk all the water – they hadn’t. I didn’t think much else about it, but the following day the tulips hung lower than the previous day. And this hap happened the rest of the week.

It was quite peculiar.

But, yesterday it dawned on me that these tulips were nowhere near the end of their beauty – they had been practicing a sacred liturgy all week. Every hour of each day.

They leaned, stretched, and longed to draw closer to the light. To the sun. Tulips thrive when they have at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. In the dining room, the rays of sunlight dance through the branches in the trees in our front yard and found their way into the windows in the dining room. Those tulips thirsted and yearned for the sunlight to warm their brightly colored pedals, stems, and leaves. They couldn’t live without the sun.

Just like we can’t truly live without the Son - the Son of God. The Light of the world gives us the source of light and life we need and desire so our minds, hearts, and souls will thrive, flourish, and be the beautiful ones we were created to be.

Have you seen trials in your life when you’ve found yourself in the shade or shadows, not having enough light to create the energy needed to grow and bloom in your spiritual life? And it’s not that the sun had disappeared, it was just harder to find because of the clouds that hung low some days.

Don’t give up reaching for the Son on those days, my friend. May we daily experience the holy practice of reaching out as far as we can to capture the Light. May we soak in the warmth of God’s goodness as it runs through our veins. And may we long to grow toward the Source of Life – Jesus.

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