I peek and draw breath in. She is pregnant, this bloom. Just blossomed out radiant. And I am expectant. Because this fullness will deliver baby zucchini!
I am only gardener. Have only peeled back blanketing soil and opened up ground and buried seed there; and pulled the blanket back over. And sun pooled there. Pooled like water and fire and that is God mystery. And it took life! The seed in the seedbed. The ground pushed opened and one day the seed began to show and today it blossomed out large and full-term maternity gown in color of fire.
It seems to me that life comes through fire. First words from God tongue, "Fire orb in sky!" Because life comes after, through, by way of, fire. And I myself was delivered as my own children were delivered. Conceived by way of fire and born through searing orb of fire.
I am proud gardener of baby zucchini! Well, it's not here yet. But it's about to be and I'm waiting outside the garden bed where it will be delivered.
The bloom presented sometime last night. I saw it large when I woke this morning; and by evening it had changed out of flowery yellow maternity dress into drab gown. It lies atop garden bed. Exhausted. Waiting for the birth. And I, gardener and mid-wife, check the progress. No zucchini yet.
I wait as those expecting wait.
With prayer. It's just talking to God and listening to what He says. That's prayer. And really, it's mostly just listening to what He says and then saying it all back to Him and listening to what He says in response to Himself.
This is prayer. It's getting to know who God is. What He's like. It's becoming familiar with what He says and what He's most likely to say because it fits Him. Really prayer is learning how to talk to God in His own tongue 'til my tongue speaks His language and 'til we sometimes finish each others thoughts.
I've decided to spend my life waiting like this.
"Teach me how to pray," I asked God eighteen years ago on my knees beside the first couch my German and I bought together. I asked right there like that after walking five-year old kindergarten son down wooded creek path to school.
I asked. And waited. And learned. And asked and waited. And asked and waited. And I'm still asking eighteen years later. Still learning. God is faithful. I've made this my life purpose because, God. Is. Faithful.
And because His grace, not my will, sticks.
Walking to KindergartenThe blossom is lying there atop blanket, but covered in sun sheet. And I'm thinking about what I read on another sheet of light, "Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives." And, "Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered"
(1 Peter 3:1,7).
And this blossom lies there next to the vine that bore her up and honored her and remains at her side and they both wait for this grace of life. A zucchini from Mr. and Mrs. Zucchini.
"What husband obeys every one of Your words?" I ask God while I wait.
"If you should suffer for righteousness' sake, then you are blessed." He sort of answers my question in a "don't look at the speck in your brother's eye" kind of way. I get it. And I'm seeing what He's saying in a whole new light.
The subject of suffering for righteousness' sake and of being blessed and, further down sheet, "Have fervent love for one another," and "Be hospitable to one another without grumbling."
Somehow I hear it, "Be hospital to one another." Hospital. Because we've suffered one another and are heirs of the grace of life, together. And hospital is needed because of suffering and birthing and grace and life.
It's true. I've suffered. My German has suffered. May we be hospital to one another. Wait quiet and gentle while the grace of life is birthed through it. And may I just stop saying, "But God! I don't want to lie down. I want to stay blossom! Forget the zucchini! Forget the fruit!"
Just once I'd like to hear Him say, "You know, you're right! Let's just forget the whole thing!" But, no, I really don't want Him to say that. That's not God. Really I want to hear what He says. It's just all calm word, "A gentle, quiet spirit is precious in My sight. Wait like this. All quiet. All gentle. Think delivery room. Wait like that. Wear it even when you're in drab gown. Then you are blessed." This fits.
Zucchini BloomThe thing about all this is, I'm waiting for more than a zucchini.
I'm waiting because the Creator who grows zucchini and grows me has peeled back what blankets me and has opened me up and buried His life there.
The thing is that He's expectant Father waiting to see His resemblance birthed from me and it comes through labor. It doesn't come when I'm radiant in bright maternity hope and gown. But after exhaustion.
Because of hope.
Because the Bridegroom is the Father and He has that look of utter devoted and fervent and tender love all over His face as He waits while I push for what I hope for. Push it right out of faith.
This isn't about living pretty, but about laying it down. It's not about the glance of bright blossom, the coy beneath lashes, but about the letting go and letting fade and, yeah, I'll say it. It's about the dying. The dying to myself and laying myself down like the zucchini blossom while the One who planted Himself in me waits to see Himself come out of me.
He waits to see the Grace of Life come out of me.
He's not waiting for zucchini like I am, but He bends over like I bend over vine. And His life will crown right where His life and mine join. His life will take hold right where I give mine up. It must be, because that's what I'm seeing right now as I bend over the vine, pull gentle back skirting leaves and wait to see zucchini crown there.
His life. His glory crowns. His glory presents through fire. And it's water and fire and all God mystery His life in me and mine in His. And the fruit, the zucchini, is ours.
And I like the sound of that. Ours.
written by: Carolyn Roehrig