Lent 4 – Flourish

Hannah Garrity | acrylic on canvas


John 15:1-12

Artist’s Reflection: One More Year

Note: This week we welcome the Rev. Aisha Brooks-Lytle to our pulpit and leading our Today @ 10 class. The scripture she will be preaching on, John 15:1-12, is not the scripture referenced in this artist’s reflection, but the themes of growth and time and how our lives are grounded and grafted in Christ, fit together with the original reflection scripture, Luke 13:1-9.

Let go of time.

When I start anything new it is always difficult. So many questions arise. What is the flow of the work? What does a day look like? What do the interactions with others feel like? The only way to navigate toward answers is to go through the motions of the day.

To adjust to the newness, I move into a mode of observation. I engage with a pattern of inputs and outputs. I calculate my actions through trial and error. If I do this, what will be the outcome? If I do that, what will result? The mode is one of metacognition. I am constantly thinking about my thinking. Why did I make that decision in that moment?

Difficult endeavor reaps great reward. However, the work is still extremely difficult. Riding the daily roller coaster of emotions is not effective. Floating above in the abstract realm keeps me going. So, is hard work what I’m made for? Should I find different work that is easier? A job that I can go to and come home from without feeling emotionally drained or exhausted?

Here a lesson of the parable emerges. Give the fig tree one more year to fruit. Things that are worth working for do not yield immediate results. Difficult work does not reap quick rewards; yet, it is worthy. So, I keep going. I search for the sign of a bud on the limbs.

In this image the fig leaves are full, but the buds are tiny. As in the parable, the fruit of this tree eludes the viewer. However, the buds are visible as a token in this painting. They are encouragement that it is worth the effort to care for the tree, encouragement that we should give it the grace of one more year.

Cultivate time.

— hannah garrity

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