A dear friend gave me a beautiful flowering plant called “Oxalis.
This particular species’ leaves are a deep maroon color and each is shaped like a triangle. Oxalis triangularis is what I have. They bear pale pink trumpet shaped flowers. I placed the plant on the window sill, and when it got bigger, I re-planted it to a bigger terra cotta pot. All year that beautiful plant gave me joy.
Then, my oxalis seemed to grow weaker. The leaves became sparce and fewer flowers decorated its foliage.
It seemed to refuse any of my nurturing, or watering, or plant food.
Finally, I gave up and put the dying plant in my cool storage room and forgot about it. I felt a kind of grief, like when the vibrant reds and oranges of fall give way to bare branches.
Next year, I needed a good-sized terra cotta pot for some new pansies I’d picked up at a local plant sale. I took the pot I’d used for my now-dead oxalis, turned the soil, added more potting mix and fertilizer, then planted the new pansies.
I put the pot of pansies out on my bistro table on my deck. Each morning I enjoyed coffee out on the deck, savoring the beauty and variety of colors and textures, of the dappling of sunlight across the banister and over my impatiens, pansies, and marigolds, and geraniums.
Then something almost miraculous happened. In the middle of summer, a speck of maroon-colored foliage peeked through the green leaves of my pansies.
Sure enough, as I delved through the greenery and bright purples and pinks of the pansies I saw the children of my oxalis straining beyond the shadows to reach life-giving light.
The two plants lived harmoniously for the rest of the summer and into the fall. But as the weather has cooled, the pansies have reached the end of their time-lines. But the oxalis will live on.
That plant goes through cycles where it seems to wither and die. But wait a while. Leave it. Go away and look at something else. And when the time is right, come back and scratch into the soil and find a new creation, straining upward.
This is the story of the miracle of God’s creative power. Like the oxalis, we artists—made to reflect God’s image—also go dormant at times. It is not strange, as I once thought about the oxalis. I didn’t understand about such things.
But as writer, I have found that we must be patient when we cycle in and out of creativity and productivity. We need those quiet times while we rest from our frantic pace of growth and reproduction. We must let our minds lie fallow for a time.
And trust God to prepare the new seeds for germination and to enliven the old, dried up roots.
In the book of Galations, Paul is speaking about those who live to please God, how they will reap a harvest of everlasting life. And for Christian writers, as well as others who love God and seek to care for others, we can draw the same conclusion.
Here is what Paul says in Galatians 6:9, “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”