Theology in the Trenches

New Growth
Kathleen Kjolhaug
Friday, July 19, 2019
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I know about new growth and even a bit about spurts now and again taking place when least expected. I’ve had a bunch of kids and now as I watch the grands, I’m refreshing my memory of such things.

Not only does growth come to little people as they transform before our eyes, but as of late I’ve been taking note of the growth happening in my kitchen. To be precise, I’m keeping tabs on a plant perched atop my corner cabinet. Long ago, it had once belonged to my grandmother Alice. Grandma lived on a farm, and while growing up, we would go visit her each Sunday. Grandpa was there, too, but the plants he paid heed to were out in the field. This one in my kitchen had been tended to by grandma. Most of her plants stood near a large dining room window collecting rays beaming through it on the farm. After she’d crossed over in life, a few of her things remained. Amidst the items which remained unspoken for was this one green vine-like potted plant.

I made claim to it and was thrilled with the keepsake. It was as if I had a piece of grandma herself, and I bonded quickly to the little beauty. Grandma had a green thumb as everything she touched responded well. Me? I wasn’t a natural at nature and thus chose plants that would not need too much attention given them. This particular plant looked like we might just get along.

Atop my kitchen cupboard it remained for years … twenty and counting last time I counted. Throughout this time, the potted plant hadn’t changed much, but I was content. After all, it was still green and that was good enough for me. Every so oft a new leaf would come and another would fall as if to keep score upon each of the two vines protruding from the pot in which it sat.

One day I noticed a lengthy sprout shooting up and across my kitchen wall. To make it even more intriguing, I noted an equal amount of growth running down towards the old wooden cupboard upon which it stood. Grandma’s plant was growing and growing quickly.

What made the difference after all these years? Out of curiosity, I decided to step up on a stool in order to take a closer look. Peering into the plant, I saw exactly what was happening … something that I’d never seen before.

At the center of where the new growth was taking place, a branch from another plant nearby had curved itself up, over, down and around grandma’s plant … eventually supporting it. This was the epicenter of all the new growth.

“It just can’t be!” I said to my husband when he arrived home from work that evening. “Grandma’s plant is alive, but that plant reaching up, out, over, down and around is dead! You picked those bittersweet branches for me two years ago! How can a branch from a dead plant, curve itself like that right into a plant that is alive? It’s as though the dead plant sensed that grandma’s plant need support and helped it begin to grow all over again!”

He, too, went over to peer into the likes of the potted plant which held what we were both beholding. Sure enough, he saw the miracle too.

We agreed that it was a picture of foundational truth on display. The very wood which once held death was offering and continues to offer resurrection power … new life, new growth. He truly does desire resurrection within each of us. He even says so with His very own words, “I came that all may have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Jesus Christ is continually in the business of resurrecting each of us in ways everlasting.

Jesus died and continues to offer new life. Watch for the miracles for He is working up, over, down, around, in and through all things. Amen.