[Published at (in)courage May 19, 2017]
When I saw the lumpy bags of daffodil bulbs at the store I was skeptical. The eager garden center employee hovered nearby, so I asked her, “Is it worth all the kneeling, getting dirty, and waiting? Are flowers really going to come? Is there any guarantee?”
She promised the bulbs would bloom. I bought four bags and rushed to pick up my kids from school.
Before she even got in the car, I could tell my daughter was angry, like she always was these days. She saw her classmates doubled over laughing on the school lawn as we drove by. She crossed her arms and set her jaw. When we got home she slammed the car door and followed her siblings into the house.
I stayed quiet in the driver’s seat. I knew she didn’t want to talk about it. She refused to pray or be prayed for. She despised my hugs. I sighed. I’d been praying for her for so long. Would it ever get better?
I remembered those daffodils in the back of the van.
I mixed black soil and bone meal with my bare hands in the big pots in front of the porch. Then I carefully laid the bulbs pointy side up in concentric circles. I covered them with more soil and patted it all down firmly with my whole palm, just like I patted my baby daughter’s back at bedtime over a decade ago.
Already kneeling, I suddenly prayed, “God, I believe these bulbs will bloom. I believe something beautiful will come. In this pot. And in my daughter’s heart. I bury my hopes for her here, right now, in this dirt. Only You can do this. I will wait.” I wiped off my palms in the grass and walked away.
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©Aimee Fritz & Family Compassion Focus, 2017.