I did what I promised I’d never do—I lost the key. THE key! The only key. The ONE and only key. The key to my garden shed—my pots, gardening tools, gloves, bushel baskets, watering cans. My dirt! I can’t get to my dirt! Without that key “it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day!”
I retraced my steps so many times I could have reached the peak of Pike’s Peak and back.
I looked in pockets I never knew I had.
I looked in the key drawer—the one and only place we put all our keys, each and every one, each and every time . . . until that fateful very bad day.
I decided to stop the mad search. My grunts and self-talk were raised to an unhealthy level. You know the berating that doesn’t do any good—I’m such a stupid monkey!
Instead I decided to practice my deep breathing and take my chill pill. So I got out the ice-cream . . . helps me chill down every time.
In the meantime, day after day, week after week, I thought of that key but I kept my head from slipping into a coma of hurtful self-criticism.
But I did keep my eyes open.
I also adapted the hose for watering, skipped the fertilizer, used some old kitchen utensils for repotting and weeding, bought some new garden gloves and decided my cracked pots in the basement worked okay in a pinch.
Then one day out of the clear blue sky (you know what’s coming), there it was . . .
. . . hanging on a fragile clematis vine, like a fly in a web dangling in the dew. It gleefully stared at me like a child grinning from ear to ear after being found last in a game of Hide And Seek. A place of envy for even the very best of hiders.
Nothing short of amazing.
How did it get there? How did it not fall off? Where did it start its climbing?
It must have shimmied out of my pocket and fallen in the tangled growth near the ground on one of my watering days. I pictured it hanging on for dear life day after day, week after week, as the purple stars grew toward the summer sky. It had found a place to cling through wind and rain, and my very own hose watering. And the way this clematis grows, I imagined it being raised like a flag on a flagpole, inch by inch . . . waiting for the right time to wave itself in front of my face.
A miracle in my book.
I removed it from its fragile shoot with an awareness that some things I think I’ve lost may only be hiding. What I’m looking for may show up in unexpected ways in unexpected places. Maybe some locked doors aren’t necessarily locked forever.
I needed to lose that key. I needed to grow stronger believing nothing is impossible. That there’s always hope for locked doors to be opened.
Unlike any other time in history, some doors have been locked far too long: schools, churches, stores, businesses, jobs. And we each have our own closed doors: relationships, health, unanswered prayer. There are a lot of lost keys out there.
To find a key dangling on a vine which now stands over my head, but at my knees only weeks before was, for me, a sign that nothing is impossible. The Vine Grower, the One who fashions these divine surprises, brings us hope that anything is possible.
I won’t be losing that key anymore . . . no sirree.
And I won’t be forgetting that anything is possible.
May you find the key you’re needing to open your door.
Here are few books to help your little shoots with the new doors they may be walking through in the days ahead . . .
and a faith-filled read to remind them that some things will never change.