IMG_8728Several years ago, I planted a small hydrangea by my front steps. I figured it was the perfect location—or as perfect as it can be in my yard—because the spot receives morning sun, afternoon shade and there is plenty of room for growth. It took a couple of seasons before I saw the first sign of flowers, and I was as excited as a little kid at Christmas. But nothing much happened. Maybe it was still too young, or maybe I wasn’t giving it proper care. Whatever it was became moot, because late summer of that year, the deer discovered it and pruned it back to bare branches.

The following spring, my hydrangea sprang back to life—new shoots of healthy-looking leaves began to fill in the naked stalks, and I figured we were back in business. I purchased a couple bottles of deer repellant and diligently sprayed it (and the other plants in our yard) every night before going to bed. When early fall arrived, and the rains began, Chris told me that the deer wouldn’t be an issue—they’d have fresh grasses to feed on and wouldn’t venture so close to our house.

He was wrong.

My poor hydrangea was once again as naked as can be. I’m embarrassed to admit, a few tears were shed over it and I proclaimed that I was done pouring time and energy into a yard just to feed the local gang of deer. For the first time, I was tempted to use my bow for more than target practice! Chris decided the best defense was, well…a fence—deer fence, that is. It would save my sanity and him a lot of grief—not to mention our yard, which was just starting to show real potential. Last fall, my hydrangea got a reprieve. It was still rather small, but at least it wasn’t being stripped of its leaves anymore.

Yesterday afternoon, I spent a much-needed couple of hours cutting back overgrown and dead plants and pulling weeds. As I reached around the base of my hydrangea to clear it of dry leaves (from our maple) and pine needles, I was shocked to notice a bud nestled in the bed of fresh green. Then I looked closer. Not just a bud here and there (which is the most I’ve seen yet) but buds at the head of every leafy stalk—too many to count! I doubt you’ll see them in the picture I posted along with this blog, because they’re still the color of the leaves, but I can attest to their existence.

I awoke in the wee hours of the morning thinking of the evidence of new life in my plant and remembered today is Good Friday. A time of rebirth. How appropriate. And though the struggles and potential of a little plant can’t possibly compare to that of human life, I like the symbolism all the same. We have the opportunity of new life in Jesus Christ. Those of us who believe in Him—in His deity, His redemptive work upon the cross and His resurrection—have opportunity for new life. It doesn’t matter who we were in the past, He took on all of our sins—past, present, future—so that God doesn’t see our failure, but the righteousness of Christ. Rebirth. New life. Resurrection.

So, whenever I look upon my once-struggling, beaten-down hydrangea (and I hope I do for years to come) I’ll be reminded of the potential for every human being—eternal life with a loving, merciful, grace-filled King—and hope there will be magnificent, colorful hydrangeas in heaven.

One thought on “Rebirth

  1. Jennie, what a beautiful way to bring in Easter! Hydrangea’s are one of my favorites and I just haven’t been able to grow them since moving to Colorado. (They try, but I am not as diligent as you and I forget how much water they need in this dry climate.) The symbolism is perfect as only Christ can take our bedraggled, deer eaten souls and turn them into something as beautiful (well rather much more) as a hydrangea bloom. I too hope there are many in heaven and of even more colors!

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