Kate Taliaferro ponders how the plants in her garden echo the lessons in Jesus' Resurrection.
This past fall was the first time I’ve ever planted tulip bulbs. As a military family, we move more often than many people. One of the little joys I have found in this rotation of locations is that springtime is always exciting, especially that first spring. What’s going to come up? What flowers do we have? What color will the bushes buds be? Is there an opportunity to plant something new? What plant is that!? Thank goodness for my garden-loving father-in-law and Google image search!
In our current home, we were delighted to find around our two front trees a fair number of tulip bulbs. We had so much fun waiting to see what colors they would be, how many we would have, and where else they might pop up. Then, this fall, I saw a sale on a bag of tulip bulbs and I grabbed one. It was a mixed bag, there were a bunch of colors all jumbled together. I am no expert and had no idea, if there even is a way, how to tell which bulb would be what color.
Two of my daughters helped me and in late November, we planted the bulbs. Then, we had to wait. While I’m sure they didn’t give them a second thought, I often wondered about those little bulbs. Did I plant them far enough apart? Deep enough? Did we water them sufficiently? While my thumb isn’t black, it’s not exactly the most green either. I honestly didn’t know if these bulbs would amount to anything, and it wasn’t until the first little shoots popped through the ground last month that I realized I had been holding my breath for months!
I was so relieved that they sprouted. Every day I found myself checking on them. Which would bloom first? What color would it be? Oh look, I think that one is yellow! My kids began giving me daily reports: “2 new red ones and I think an orange/red mix!” We have all enjoyed this tulip season and I’m already making plans to plant more this fall. Each time we arrive home, they make me smile as their colorful blooms nod and sway in the breeze.
These tulips reminded me a little bit of the Resurrection. Buried in the dark, the bulbs were transformed into plants. They are still rooted to that same bulb, but they rose up something new, something different and wholly unique. When Jesus arose from the dead, He was still Jesus. Yet, He was something, someone, new, different and wholly unique. The disciples had to wait 3 days, as we waited during the winter. They waited with anxiety, with worry, with fear. While my worries over the tulips pale in comparison, at the core we both wondered the same thing, “Is it all going to be all right?”
When we plant seeds of any kind, we have to wait to see what will come of them. Jesus knew this, which is why so many of His parables include seeds and garden imagery. We talk about planting “seeds of faith” and then needing to wait to see how they grow. Each plant is a mini-model of the Resurrection. The seed “dies” so that the plant can be born anew. Jesus said:
“Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat but if it dies, it produces much fruit” (John 12:24).
I hope, as you go about your day today, you are able to stop and “smell” the mini-resurrection in front of you, be it in the form of a rose, a tulip, a child, or a stranger.
Copyright 2022 Kate Taliaferro
Images: (top) Canva Pro; (interior) copyright 2022 Kate Taliaferro, all rights reserved.
About the Author
Kate Taliaferro is an Air Force wife and mom of 6. She has a Masters in Religious Education and tries to find God's presence in all parts of her day, be it cooking, cleaning or just the everyday ordinary. She enjoys homeschooling, stitching crafts and finding cheerios between the couch cushions. She blogs at Daily Graces.