Rooting for the Underdog

A Reflection by Sister M. Martha Pavelsky, MHSH

Bulbs.  No, not the electric kind, the flower kind.  People give them as gifts at Christmas:  amaryllis, tulip, paperwhite.  I was given a little net bag of exceedingly unpromising-looking paperwhite bulbs a number of years ago when I lived in a tiny village in western New York.

I followed the directions for “planting” them in a shallow dish of pebbles.  Most unpromising, but I set them in northern light in my prayer room and waited.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABy golly!  Three of the four sprouted and, in time, bloomed.  The fourth lay on the pebbles like a wizened onion or maybe a shallot, or one of those expensive things skilled pigs locate with their snouts.  In any case, definitely a goner, and yet I waited. (Parents with errant children know that drill.)

One day, shocked, I spotted a tiny shoot.  More time—much more time—passed and the crazy thing brought forth a teensy-weensy bouquet of white, star-shaped flowers.  Who woulda’ thunk?  I was jubilant!

And so will I (and the proverbial cast of thousands) be when our Baltimore Ravens win the Super Bowl—maybe next year.

Something there is in us that roots for underdogs and the highly unpromising, and casts an eye on Super Bowl contenders especially when they seem so unlikely—like the Ravens in early December.  But, hey, they did it last year, didn’t they?

underdog 5Underdogs.  Do we see ourselves in them?  Or one of our hapless offspring or siblings?

The run-up to a Super Bowl win seems weighted with deep theological implications that might reward our pondering—in a less emotionally charged season.

How do your everyday behaviors reveal your confidence in the God of surprises?

 

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