Growing up I was fascinated by the jade plants that my grandmother had growing in her kitchen. Their leaves were fat….like you painted them onto the stems with puffy paint. When I went out to San Diego back in 2016 for my niece’s wedding, I fell in love with the succulent plants that were in abundance there. I found them to be so beautiful and so interesting. They weren’t flowers, but some of them formed patterns that looked like flowers. Just when I thought I had seen them all, I would discover a new one. Such a variety of textures and colors.
I was really excited when I saw that our local craft store was starting to get some pretty realistic looking succulents. I can’t have real ones because my cats will eat them. I picked some of my favorites and put this together. I love it because it reminds me of my trip out to California.
Last week I thought about faith a lot. I was preparing for Easter. There was a time when all of this faith stuff was much easier. I hate to admit that I didn’t think of it much…it just…was. Yes there were questions in the back of my mind, but I pushed them aside. I’m not sure why. Maybe I was afraid of not having the answers. Maybe I was afraid of where the questions would take me. Maybe I was afraid of the answers I might find.
As I reflected last week, I realized that faith wasn’t easier then…it was more that I was just simply being lazy about my faith. I’m so thankful for God bringing me…dare I say dragging me at times…out of the ditch my faith was stuck in. I found that I’m not afraid of the questions any longer. And even better…I’m not afraid of the answers…or the lack of answers. It’s in the not knowing that we truly find the mystery of God. It’s there that you discover how vast His unconditional love is for us.
Like the succulent plants that I discovered on my trip to California, my faith has more richness, more layers. And I’m discovering something new at each turn. It’s opened me up into a messy, deep, ebb and flowing kind of faith and I wouldn’t change it for anything. It’s brought me to people I would have never met otherwise. People that I love with a depth that I don’t even understand.
I had someone tell me recently that I felt like family. That’s a good way to describe it. My family has increased.
I know Easter was hard for many in my new family that has grown over the last 10 years. Traditions of going to church have been replaced by new traditions because they are no longer welcome or they no longer feel safe there. Families by blood being rejected by each other. Pretty sure that grieves God deeply.
For God so loved the world…
Love each other…it matters.