On Wednesday after school I drive into the city with the boys and two cousins to see the jacarandas. The heatwave has broken. Homework can wait. The flowers are in full purple magnificence and we have muffins, juice and time.
We let the traffic take us through the lilac tunnels of old streets with new names to the Union Buildings where the kids run and climb a little awestruck by stone steps and canons and the vast view of the capital.
The jacaranda trees burst purple unfaltering every year in October. They bloom, whether or not the rains have come. They bloom, regardless of the political climate. They have bloomed here – in foreign soil – every year since 1888. They’ve bloomed over injustice and freedom, corruption and cooperation. They’ve bloomed over the doings and dealings of presidents and freedom fighters, good men and cowards, the affluent, the brave and the destitute. They’ve bloomed, and bloom today, despite all this, because ‘for all this, nature is never spent; There lives the dearest freshness deep down things’ (Gerard Manley Hopkins).
They bloom because consistency is at the root of things.
In the shade of Mandela’s towering legacy I think of what Glennon said last week, that we all need to go right down to our truthiest truths – right deep down to the roots. Because right deep down beneath the layers of difference – at the root of it all – we’re all, consistently, pretty much the same. We’ve all known fear, loss, anger and insecurity. We all need hope.
So I’m living with this idea of taking conversations to a level that lasts. Finding the question that will cut through the surface schmazz and make a difference. I’m praying for ways to invest in people’s roots, so that they bloom consistently, regardless of what’s happening on leaf level.
The lives I admire most are always the lives lived with consistency – the lives that blossom with the only beauty that outlives us and is made up of small daily investments of time and talent in things that last: character and relationship.
Our city is in its most postcard-ish splendour right now. There’s a beauty that lets the soul breathe relieved: a reminder that our God is consistently the God of this city. He has set eternity in our hearts. He makes all things beautiful in His time. And so, consistently, there is hope.
But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.
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Excited and blown away that our *third* print run of Dragons and Dirt: The truth about changing the world – and the courage it requires comes out this week. Check it out on Amazon or get in touch if you’re in SA and want to place orders for Christmas?