Pastor’s Corner: Blooming

August 2, 2022

My friend and colleague the Rev. Alison Buttrick-Patton wrote me recently. She’s on sabbatical; some of you may remember her from her visit to Hilo five years ago during her last sabbatical. She complimented a photo of an orchid plant I’d shared, and said, “I learned this week that to bloom, an orchid must first experience 6 weeks of stress/change in their environment. I’m thinking that will preach!”

It turns out it’s not required for every orchid species or variety, but according to Akatsuka Orchid Gardens’ website, some plants can be stimulated to bloom by stress. It’s a way to protect not the individual plant, but a future that has such plants in it. Blossoms can lead to seeds. Seeds can lead to new growth.

I confess that part of me responded with, “I think I’ve done enough blooming for a while, thank you, so anytime anyone wants to turn the stress levels down, I’ll be happy.”

The orchid, however, isn’t blooming for itself. It’s blooming for a future in which it might not be present. It’s blooming for plants yet to come. It’s blooming for something greater than itself.

That, I think, is a real signpost for us. Stress can bring out skills, talents, and energies we didn’t know we had. Over the last two years of global pandemic, it has. During the Puna eruption, it did. As neighbors and friends have sought our comfort and support, it has continued to do. As individuals, as families, as community, and as a church, we have definitely blossomed over and over again.

We might be frustrated that all that blooming has seemed to accomplish so little, or that it achieves things so slowly. What we’ve done so far, however, is to display our flowers. There’s still seeds to produce. The seeds need time in the soil. The new plants need time to raise their stems and spread their leaves.

We do not blossom for today. We bloom for a better tomorrow.

With aloha,

Pastor Eric

Categories Pastor's Corner Reflections | Tags: | Posted on August 2, 2022

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