A bit of green in February is such a cheerful sight. I got out the screw-on sprouting strainer and a wide mouth mason jar a few weeks ago. So far we have done three batches of alfalfa sprouts and devoured them just about as fast as they can pop out.
Olivia had a science experiment in this period of time, where she was supposed to check the germination of bean seeds. We found some dried kidney beans, put them in a moist environment, and then nearly gave up on them. It was about a week before there was even a noticeable crack in the beans’ seed coats. We peeled one open and saw the embryo starting to put out a shoot inside. So we kept them moist instead of throwing them out. Today we are eating the second round of sprouts since the kidney beans venture started, and they look just like the photo shows, greeny cotyledon and lots of rootlets coming out of the shoot. Olivia is so tickled that the experiment worked after all.
I have been thinking about this, trying to extract the lesson. You saw it coming, didn’t you?
There are just some things that are kidney beans and some that are alfalfa seeds. Many times I feel like chucking out hope for the hard, unchanging bean situations, saving my energy for the quick returns of the alfalfa sprouts. It takes a lot more faith when there are long waiting periods until harvest. I can put alfalfa on my salad in five days, give or take a few. I will have to plant and hoe and watch and pick carefully before the beans are ready to eat.
The most obvious lesson for me in this is my Five Little Sprouts. I remember the panicky moment when I realized that we would never be able to un-parent. This is a lifelong proposition, with varying amounts of investment, true, but it takes a lot of nurture for the seeds to grow into healthy, fruit bearing plants. A lot of patience. A lot of faith. A lot of moments of feeling like a total flop.
We are immersed in this right now. It seems like all I do every day is water and nourish, watch those little green shoots emerge, and pray the roots go deep. I am invested in this venture for the long haul.
Aside from the children, there are other situations that I sometimes wonder if I should just forget. Chuck them into the trash and let them dry out. Faith says, “Keep watering. Set it in the sunshine. You just watch; God is never late.”
Do you ever have those moments when faith speaks in threadbare phrases, but you know it’s true?