This is not some exotic water lily. What began as a ball of leaves dropped into the glass tea pot began its change as I poured boiling water over it. Suddenly, graceful petals unfurled and blushed, coloring the liquid amber gold. Named flowering tea, it shows me that what seems to be a dried up, useless thing can become beautiful and delicious. A gift of surprise!
Do you like surprises? I hear people say that they don’t, but I think they are saying they don’t appreciate being startled unexpectedly. However, I believe it is just these unexpected, sometimes unwelcome moments that come into our lives that give us glimpses of Grace we would never otherwise experience. And that this is a life lesson in understanding that we who want so much to plan and project and barrel ahead on our own steam really do see only a part of the larger, eternal picture.
“Nearly everything that has happened to me has happened by surprise. All the important things have happened by surprise. And whatever has been happening usually has already happened before I have had time to expect it. The world doesn’t stop because you are in love or in mourning or in need of time to think. And so when I thought I was in my story or in charge of it, I really have been only on the edge of it, carried along. Is this because we are in an eternal story that is happening partly in time?” ~ Wendell Berry – from the novel “Jayber Crow”