This is my peace lily. It lives just outside my office.

Olivia Newport peace lily

I wish I had a better picture. But it’s been blooming for quite some time and it’s about to be finished for this time around, so it looks bedraggled. (True confession: I am also not a very good waterer.)

Because this plant lives on the path between my kitchen and my office, I walk past it more times a day than I count. Coming and going, two dozen at least. But in all the months the lily has been blooming, it has faithfully encouraged me, because this is the view from another angle.

Olivia Newport leaning peace lily

This year, the plant has been determined to grow toward the light that come through the big dining room window in a way I have never seen before in all the years I’ve had this plant. That long single stem that marks a peace lily, yearning for what gives it life and peeks around the corner into my office in a way that made me notice it every time. I would have hated to accidentally knock off the bloom.

The bloom will finish soon, having given me its service, and I will await next year.

But in this moment, with the peace flower past its peak and looking bedraggled, I find myself thinking of that juxtaposition: bedraggled peace.

Sometimes I strive to get everything in order and then I will have peace. Peace at the end of the day. Peace at the end of the week. Peace at the end of the to-do list, the empty inbox, the accomplished calendar. I’m sure I’m not alone.

And of course something else always goes on the list. At my house in the last few days, we barely got the light fixture in the laundry room changed so we weren’t doing loads in the dark before the kitchen faucet was leaking all over the place. And there is also the cracked pipe in the shower drain from the minus 15-degree night a few weeks ago that still needs a final repair.

Getting the repairs under control and doctor’s appointments done and work meetings checked off and writing days scheduled won’t add up to peace. Those things are bedraggling, certainly. But I am far more likely to find peace by faithfully stretching and growing toward the light that gives life even in the midst of bedraggling.

Whatever your bedraggled season is right now, may you grow toward the light and bloom in peace.

Grace and peace to you, my friends.