This week in the northern hemisphere, we officially step into spring. This means more than everything outdoors being tinted yellow by pollen, it brings longer days as a reminder of the return of light. Even if we might struggle with the winter season, spring offers us a reminder of hope. Often as an outcast we lose hope, because we hear how we are not welcome or experience not being included.
The word hope can be dangerous, if we just rest on the word hope without action. This is where it is of benefit as an outcast to have a safe place to develop our spirituality. This is more than a spiritual home, it is where we are welcome at the table, in addition it offers something for our spiritual lives to be able to grow. As we are reminded, “What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6) to remember that our connection to spirituality includes spiritual actions, to evolve spiritually.
That is where the wisdom of Saint Francis comes in, reminding us that we can draw direction from nature. Although we may plant seeds or someone else may plant seeds of spiritual awareness for us, others might see the fruits of the harvest. (John 4:31-38) The decision is with us to which seeds we are going to nurture.
The season of Lent offers a reminder for us to be aware of the seeds that have been planted for us and by us. To allow time for inner reflection to see which seeds we want to spend the next year or years nurturing. To maybe even sift through to see which seeds we let lay dormant or to be transplanted or even picked to return to provide nutrients to the soil.
These actions can help our focus instead of separating our spiritual gifts. For those of us that our outcasts, it can offer an opportunity to fine tune our spiritual seeds. This allows us to learn how our spiritual awareness can be utilized in our spiritual home and find a way to open the door for fellow outcasts. Once we have strong roots, we then can help plant and nurture other seeds. This is hope in action and might also be called grace.