Like the iris

The iris are coming soon, my friend observed as he posted a photo of their long green spikes and barely opened buds of deep blue. Soon those buds will be in full display, glorious signs of the season. But his anticipation is wrongly placed. The iris, these silent teachers, are not coming soon; they already are. They were there in the growing green spikes that appeared long before the buds. There were there in the bulbs that lay under the soil before any sign of growth broke the surface. They were there in the hands and mind of the gardener who planted them or of the squirrel that carried them to their hiding place.

Like the iris, the new and better life for which we hope is already present, only in an early form we don’t recognize. Hermann Hesse observed, “The world is not imperfect or slowly evolving along a path to perfection. No, it is perfect at every moment, every sin already carries grace in it.” And Jesus said that the kingdom of God is spread upon the earth, and people don’t see it.

But we do see it. We just don’t recognize it for what it is. We swim in it like fish swim in the water while straining ahead in their search for the Ocean. God, give me eyes to see.

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