Cracks in the sidewalk


All I saw was the empty pot. Well, it wasn’t empty because there was soil in it, but it was void of greenery. There were no signs of life anywhere in that rich dark soil, and I wasn’t happy about it. I know it was just a plant, but it was a pretty plant that smelled great. It was an herb that I could use to season some of our meals. I mean, I really liked that plant.

That was last summer. The pot that had housed the lush lemon balm  was now being used for something else on the deck, and the lemon balm was but a sweet little memory…

…until yesterday.

As I carried groceries in from the car I saw it. At first glance, I thought it was a weed…a little weed that I had noticed growing but had not yet pulled.  A closer look however, revealed that it wasn’t a weed–it was a whole new and displaced lemon balm plant!  Little things like that can bring a big smile to my face.

And it made me think….

Sometimes things  that we thought we lost can come back into our lives when we least expect them in a way that is different than what we had anticipated.

I think we’d all like to be the ‘masters of our own destiny” at times. I mean, we think we know what we need, when we need it, and what it should look like. We think we know the timing of how things should pan out and can be easily disappointed when things don’t quite go our way.  Case in point– I loved that little lemon balm plant and didn’t envision it dying at all, but of course, this whole thing is so not about the plant.

The loss of the lemon balm was a teeny-tiny disappointment. I mean, I thought I had done all of the right things to ensure that the plant would survive–thrive even.  But nope, it was gone, non-existent, kapput.  But not really….because voila! It showed up in that crack in the sidewalk when I least expected it.

So I don’t know what loss you might be experiencing. In this age of COVID-19 and racial tension, financial instability and social isolation, well, there’s lots of room for feeling a void in our lives. We might think we know exactly how we want those voids to be filled. But my little lemon balm plant helped to remind me that sometimes things can be just as good, just as beautiful, even when they don’t quite look like what we had hoped for or planned.

I’ve prayed for things that never quite got the answer I had hoped for. I mean, my life has had its share of some pretty intense heartache. But I don’t know many folks who haven’t had a good dose. Loss is part of our human condition. I mean, my dear friend just said good bye to her husband two nights ago. Two weeks ago he was fine, vibrant, full of life. COVID.  The void for her is huge right now, and it’s so hard to believe that he’s gone. He was quite the character and fun and known for wearing tie dye shirts. So folks are showing up everywhere wearing tie dye in remembrance of him. It doesn’t fill the void with him…but there’s beauty that’s filling the void…and somehow, some way, she actually has a peace that absolutely passes understanding. It amazes me  how grief can walk hand in hand with hope. It also amazes me how beautiful things can fill the voids in our lives when we least expect them.

In the midst of  praying about so many needs in the lives of those around me, I’m so thankful for the reminder of the lemon balm plant. I believe God answers prayer. I do. But I also think sometimes all we see is an empty pot and wonder what the heck happened to our lush plant, when meanwhile, there are tons of seeds in the cracks of the sidewalk waiting to take root. All we have to do is wait a bit and then have the  eyes to see what might not look like what we anticipated.

Faith helps us have the eyes to see that the weed in the cracks in the sidewalk wasn’t a weed after all, but the remnant/ a new version of the plant that we thought we had lost.

So here’s to praying when we don’t quite see the answer, keeping eyes wide open, and enjoying what fills the void in the meantime. You never know what might turn up. ❤  God knows what He’s doing…and am thinking there’s evidence of His love and goodness all around as we open our eyes to see. Here’s to keeping our eyes wide open to see the ‘evidence of His goodness all over our lives…”

Blessings to You and Yours~


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