"I am sending him to you for this very purpose, to let you know how we are, and to encourage your hearts."
Reflection by Donna Schaper
She told me I could grow new hydrangeas out of old ones by putting a brick on a stem. In the fall, the plants are straggly, with shoots coming out of them all over. I trusted her. I put one of the longer stems down on the ground and plopped two bricks on it, with something near violence. In the spring, I discovered two new plants growing on their own. The stems have become new lace hydrangea plants. They are blossoming this year.
I would be hard pressed to tell you how encouraged I am by this miracle. First of all, I am very frugal. I mean cheap. I hate buying things that I can make. Secondly, the technology of the brick was absurdly simple, giving my daily battles with websites and clickers a kick in their well-padded rear. When it comes to the hydrangeas, I am not helpless. I am no longer creeping up to the nearest person, saying, "Can you help me…I can't make this work." Something I did from play, worked. Finally, I love my something from nothing blue with the shadow of pink and white because it came as the gift of trust. She said it would work and it did!
Reliable information is hard to find. Frankly, even information sometimes can be hard to find. Cheap and frugal people may need more encouragement than normal people. We may have more of a burden of material fear, like what happens if our money or energy or trust runs out? Thus we husband our resources and use bricks we have made without straw.
There is indeed no such thing as a free lunch, and I pray to be secure enough someday to buy a hydrangea if I need one. Until then, I love what trust can do to encourage.
About the Author
Donna Schaper is the Senior Minister of Judson Memorial Church in New York City. Her latest work is 20 Ways to Keep Sabbath, from The Pilgrim Press. Check out her work at www.judson.org.