When I went to pray in the chapel before my return to my home convent for a month, the prayer plant in the monastery chapel which I have so often referred to had grown so tall that it was fallen over and drooping; it looked too tall and gangly for its height the way teenage boys look after a growth spurt. I tried in vain to put the leaves atop the altar but they could not carry the weight of the stem. I came one more time before leaving (I think I was worried about the plant) and of course the ubiquitous flower sister had spied the state of things and a lovely tall green florist stick was now in the pot along with the other short stick. The prayer plant was again tall, majestic and stately having grown two more leaves one on the main and one on the support stem; both now so deeply intertwined that I no longer can tell the support stem from the main stem. All this unseen growing is taking place! I certainly hope this is again a message and there is a lot of unseen growing going on inside me and of course in the community and sisters with whom I live. “God who has begun a good work shall bring it to the day of completion.” What a wonderful hope.
September brings the beginning of another school year and this long-time teacher is teaching a classic replete with allegory…everything means something else or is sending a message…perfect for my prayer plant analogy. I am reminded of one of the early pastors at my home community. Near the end of his life, he wrote many small daily devotionals, small bites which are still in print for growing closer to God. It impressed me how often his references, stories and analogies were from nature and creation. He must have been always in the garden, walking or looking out the window. The messages are lovely, clear, full of the love of God and they lead me on. Maybe the messages from God’s creation are not so hidden and we only have to be looking.