Tuesday, July 3, 2007

A Bushy Tale

No, I'm not talking about a squirrel or you when you get up in the morning all bright eyed. This story is about an actual bush - a shrub, a plant, a green thing. Well, the bush in this tale is not really very green after all. You see, we moved into this house in August of last year and I was very excited about the big yard and all the potential landscaping. Some nice big trees and shrubs were already well-established. The house was built in the 20's and the trees may have been here before that. Anyway, there are two "matching" shrubs on either side of the walkway that leads to our front door. I put matching in quotation marks because they obviously started out matching each other but now one is big and beautiful and the other looks dead as a doornail. Here's the beautiful one:

and here's the dead one with some strange squash growing up out of the compost: Needless to say, the curb appeal at our house is lacking because of this black sheep shrub. The other one got lots of pretty white flowers all over it in the spring but this one looked like it does now. I have watered, fertilized, watered, composted, watered, pruned, and watered this poor thing but it hasn't responded. At this point, I know every leaf on its ugly little head so I would notice any new growth immediately. I would consider digging it up but it is obviously not completely dead and I still have hope. It seems more depressed than anything. So I talk to it and pray for it, but still nothing.

I went out on Saturday to baby it as usual and there they were, several new shoots coming up from the ground. Not just a few leaves but full-blown shoots about two feet long. It was amazing and I was so excited. The prodigal shrub had returned!

OK, here's where this get's interesting. We were at our friends' house the other night and I told John, "By-the-way, the dead shrub out by the street is finally growing." I knew he would think that was nice but probably not get too excited. Well, he didn't respond at all and I just started telling our friends the whole story I just told you. Then I looked back at John who still had a blank look on his face. Turns out he wasn't bored, just in awe. You see, he had prayed months ago that God would use that shrub as a sign like the fleece in the Gideon story to help us decide if we are supposed to go to Brazil or not. He told God that if he would only make the shrub grow, then we could know we were supposed to return to Brazil. Then, months later when nothing had happened, he was mowing the lawn (this was Friday afternoon) and he "reminded" God of his request to make the shrub grow to tell us to go back to Brazil. He walked by the shrub with the mower and said, "There's that dead shrub, God. You could tell me without a doubt that I'm making the right decision to go back by making that dead thing grow." And voila, the next day it had lots of new growth. In fact, if you look real close at the "dead" picture you can probably make out some leaves on there. I'm telling you, they weren't there one day then they were the next. Coincidence? I think not.

Now, I'm very interested to see what happens with this thing in the coming weeks. I promise to keep you posted even if it dies and I have to eat my words about it being a sign. If you think this sounds kooky, you can a.) quit reading this blog right now or b.) keep checking in for entertainment purposes in the future.

P.S. We still don't have a sponsoring church so the whole returning-to-Brazil discussion may be a bit presumptuous and no, we don't pin all our hopes on this bush. It's just a fun little tidbit in a day in the life of the Jewells.


  1. I love this story and definitely believe that God works in mysterious ways. I will keep checking the growth status of the bush. -- Christy Stanley

  2. This is why I love reading your writtings! I thought this was so great that I read it to McKenzie. Her comment was "Cool!" That is something coming from her. I can't wait to see if the bush catches on fire but doesn't burn up. Listen close if it does.
    Love ya, Dawn Royster