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So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing. T. S. Eliot

I noticed the new bloom on my 14 year-old hibiscus as I was taking the trash out. And then I counted 19 more!

The plant had grown from a blooming little bush into a spindly tree which lost its focus. It spread out in all directions and the leaves grew too large. After the second year, it never bloomed again. With a mind of its own, it seemed to be making up for the lack of flowers and, year after year, my husband said, Can’t we do something with that ugly plant? I loved it—maybe all the more for its gumption.

One year, it had served as a makeshift Christmas tree when we did away with the idea of buying one. Sam our dog, liked the taste of pine. The needles would get caught in his throat and, as you can imagine, pine became very unappealing around our house. When Sam wasn’t busy eating the tree, Rose the cat, was knocking it over.

Year after year, Todd grew more displeased with the condition of the plant and wanted it out of the house. When he finally couldn’t succeed in convincing me of that, we agreed to move it to the basement last fall. During the subzero chill of winter and darkness, its leaves curled limply into themselves. It was pathetic looking and hard to watch it suffer, but better than tossing it to the curb for the garbageman to pick up.

Over the months, Todd kept it watered and then carried it outside, into the light this summer. During its months of exile, it appears now, it was shocked into new life.

When Israel came out of Egypt, Judah became My sanctuary. When you came out of “Egypt”, a place of darkness, you became My sanctuary. My dwelling place.

It was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from an empty way of living. You have been born anew through the living and enduring Word. People are like grass and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall but My Word stands forever.

I was raised from the dead to bring new life.  Let Me flow through you to cleanse, heal, restore your youth—spirit, mind and body. Then pass on to others the same miracle working Power. 

Psalm 114: 1,2, 1 Peter 1:23-25

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