This past Christmas I received a surprise gift from a new acquaintance: a small Norfolk Island Pine tree in a silver pot. It resides atop my computer table in the kitchen, so I look at it often. In a way, it is like a new little friend given to me by a new human friend. As frequently happens, I have been led to some blog-worthy thoughts.
Do you ever think about the little surprise gifts God has given you? He gave me a little poem about a snowflake one day; another time, it was a favorite song popping up on the car radio at a time when I was feeling a bit weary. One day a friend from many years ago found my phone number and called me. Some people call those things coincidences, but I don’t.
I am partial to green, so my little green friend is certainly welcome in my home. Liturgically, green is the color of hope—something we all need after two years of a pandemic. The tree is a lovely deep green color, and I pray our hope runs deep for a happier, healthier, year ahead.
(B)ut the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love. (Psalm 147:11)
For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your
welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
So long as I remember to water wee “Verdie” (the name I have given my tree), it will continue to grow. I believe Verdie has good roots in the soil in that silver pot. We, too, strongly rooted in a belief in a loving, ever-present God, can grow to be more loving and understanding of others. I don’t know how high Verdie will ultimately grow, but we can challenge ourselves and see how much we can grow closer to our Savior Jesus in this new year. We have to nurture our faith with a faithful prayer life and stock up on spiritual food for thought.