The Flowering Cross at Easter is an early Christian art symbol based on a legend that the cross itself burst into bloom at the moment that Jesus died. Transformed into life-giving beauty and fragrance because God loves us so much that He gave us His only son Jesus, who loved us so much that He gave His life for us. And His abundant life transforming love can now ‘burst into bloom’ in us, and our ordinary daily life.
Created to Bloom
Kathleen Flood shares in a Conversations Journal blog titled Tulips and Transformation, that shortly after she turned ten years old, her father died from cancer. He wanted to tell her himself about his impending death. So, on a sunny, fall day he took her outside and planted some tulip bulbs with her. After they returned to the house, he said, “Kathleen, soon I will be planted in the earth just like the bulbs you planted. Do you know what will happen to them in the spring?” She said, “They will bloom.” Then he told her, “This will happen to me. You will not see it right away, but like the bulbs, God will give me a new life and I will bloom in God’s time. It is called the resurrection.” It’s also a lesson on transformation – in this life and eternity.
God’s Love Changes Everything
We too are like seeds and bulbs planted in the ground, and then transformed into a new form of life. Roots go down deep into God’s love, and new life emerges out of His nourishing soul-soil, bursting us up and out. We bloom, grounded in His love so that we can ‘’live full lives, full in the fullness of God” as Eugene Peterson expands on Paul’s prayer in The Message. Love grows and changes us to reflect less of our human default nature, and more of the image of Christ. Becoming our best, most authentic self, we re-seed life-transforming love.
Life-Changing Community Communion
Ashes transformed into beauty. The spirit of heaviness exchanged for the garment of praise. Wild lament turned into whirling dance. A black mourning band ripped off then decked with wild flowers. A renewed mind and new heart in place of the old. A painful cancer journey turned into sweet connection and shared communion.
Transformed beauty is often reflected in the connecting communion with each other. Dr. Beth Brokaw’s twin sister Anne Grizzle, who is a founder and Strength For The Journey retreat leader, recently wrote a poem in Conversations Journal Blog about a moving, life transforming gathering with Beth . “That unmasked moment’s view of mingled mucus, limbs, and salty prayers has become my icon of communion.”
God’s Transformation Eco-Soul- System
God wastes nothing in our life. Through God’s Love and Jesus death and resurrection, we have the fullness of life – eternally. The same measure of love, grace and comfort He gives us is what we flow forward to others. It’s His transforming, renewing eco-soul-system.
In the midst of all the pain, tears, frustrations, loss and suffering of this world, the love infused flowering cross of the resurrection and our shared connections are promises of ‘bursting into bloom’ – everlasting life of love, joy, peace and communion – in the midst of what may seem life-less.
May you have a blessed, transforming Easter season, experiencing God’s love for you and the hope of ‘bursting into bloom’. He is risen indeed!
Question: What image, symbol or experience represents God’s transforming love for you?