We were given a potted Esperanza plant some time ago during a difficult time in our lives. Esperenza is Spanish for hope. I loved its cheery yellow trumpet flowers. The hope plant did well until it started to outgrow its pot. My husband transplanted it beside the house, where he’s transplanted each year’s Easter lilies after their blooms have died. The hope plant made part of a year and then shriveled and died. This summer new green shoots appeared in the planting area. Neither of us recognized the leaves, but my husband left the plant to grow taller all summer. I wondered at times if we were nurturing a hardy Texas weed. Then little yellow flowers appeared, and we realized the hope plant had come back to life.
I’ve thought about the hope plant the past few weeks as I’ve watched our church begin to bloom again after a long time of sadness and struggle and change. I don’t know that hope had died exactly, but it seemed in short supply as we wrestled with financial challenges and the sadness of losing long-time members. Our latest pastor arrived almost three years ago now, and with the help of his leadership, we are watching new life bloom from seeds he has planted as well as those planted by former pastors.
Now I sit in the choir loft on Sunday mornings and watch as new families join us. We are busy with local mission projects as well as preparing to return to Nicaragua to help install our second clean water system. Our second annual Clean Water Festival and Fun Run to raise money for the Nicaragua trip is coming soon. We are regularly gathering once more to break bread together. New Sunday classes have started for all ages. There is an unmistakable new energy flowing through our life together. I’ve learned in my life never to give up on God. I’ve been reminded of that lesson as hope blooms once more in our church. God is good, and God is not through with us yet.
Grace and Peace,