He saw the diminutive nun sitting alone at a bus stop in Rome. Michael van der Peet’s first response was to walk away to respect her privacy. Instead, the priest approached Mother Teresa for prayer.
"Father – I would be happy to do that. You must pray for me too, as I need your prayers." And so began a prayer partnership that was to last until Mother Teresa’s passing in 1997. They wrote letters to one another regularly sharing their trials and triumphs for 22 years.
Flourishing is too often mistaken for ease or wealth. That’s not our Father’s promise to us. We are not promised that there won’t be parched lands or long winters in our lives. Instead, God’s promise is that His grace and goodness will shine brighter against the bleak backdrop of hardship.
Just as the regal purple crocus flower in today’s passage produces saffron, the world’s most valuable spice by weight, the wealth of God’s blessing emerges from the less expected quarters of our lives. And at times they mean more because of prevailing arid conditions.
Our flourishing isn’t likely to come fully formed. The crocus takes time to bloom. Many drops of water will be needed to see the creeks run again. Our flourishing may also begin at the bus stop – or emerge beneath our tired, hurting feet in the cracks of a footpath.
When it comes, as it surely will, share God’s goodness with as many as you can. Perhaps even at the bus stop.