Bright Flowers of New Life

From Holly, a staff member of Portland Rescue Mission:

Last winter, we received a bag of donated tulip bulbs. In February, a few of our staff planted them at Shepherd’s Door, our women and children’s recovery center.

We lovingly dug holes, added fertilizer, watered them and covered them over with compost and soil. We provided a healthy and sheltered place for them to grow and thrive. The rest was up to them.

This week, I went to Shepherd’s Door and saw the beautiful white and pink tulips — happy to see them as if they were my own children.

That’s how I feel about the clients who come to us in our recovery programs, too. We welcome men, women and children who are deeply hurting. We provide a safe and healing place for them (dig the hole). We teach and train them (fertilize and water). And we trust the seed of God’s love and eternal grace to grow in their hearts and renew them: spirit, soul and body.

The process can be long and difficult, but a miracle occurs. Beautiful tulips come from a brown lump, push through heavy, dark soil — and burst into bright color.

How much greater is the bloom of new life that occurs in the women and children at Shepherd’s Door!

God is in the life-giving business, and so are we.