Caroline gave a really beautiful message this morning reflecting on Epiphany and the magi who sought the wisdom literature of a variety of religions and discovered the coming of the Messiah despite getting a few details off. I loved the thought about how they got some key idea right though their assumptions led them on the Jerusalem detour because they expected Christ the king to be a literal political king rather than God of the universe arriving in a humble manger. As we enter into this new year with anticipation of God doing good things, I want to keep my assumptions in check as well. There’s a lot of unknown for me on the horizon, but I want to faithfully obey what’s clear in front of me each day.

I caught part of Mark’s morning reflections on the other side of the globe before I went to bed last night, and his sermon was on Psalm 145 encouraging us to choose praise in the face of whatever may come. We don’t get to choose a lot of life circumstances, but we choose our response. I bought tulips in the store yesterday because it’s January, and I keep tulips in my house for the weeks surrounding my traumaversary. Breaking my back was a difficult thing. It’s overshadowed my past nine years of life, and while I have no regrets and have lived an incredible nine years post-disability, it still includes disability. I didn’t choose to break my back, but I’ve chosen my response each day. Some days I come close to tears complaining to Givorgy, but most days I choose tulips.

Roses are my actual favourite flower because I come from the city of roses, but tulips have a special meaning to me because they were frequently featured in the incredible bouquets I received in the hospital after my accident. There was always something beautiful in my room to look at in those agonising months in the rehab hospital. It didn’t come as a grand “aha” kind of epiphany, but I came to see tulips as a sign of God’s love and compassion to bring beauty in to my moments of difficulty. The tulips in my window are more than a luxury, more than a whim; the tulips in my window are an epiphany where I look and encounter that same Christ who still loves me as I sit in a wheelchair nine years on.

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