3/17/09

Peace Lilies


A green thumb, I do not have. I learned that a long time ago. Now, I do have a small African Violet my mother gave me on Mother’s Day a few years ago. It had beautiful purple blooms on it when I got it, and it’s accidentally bloomed once or twice since then. I say “accidentally” because all I do is water it every now and then. I’m just amazed that it’s still alive.

I was touched by all of the flowers that were sent to my father’s funeral a couple of years ago. There were so many that my mother, my sisters, and I split them up to enjoy them at home. Of the plants I chose, three of them were Peace Lilies. Though I’ve moved twice since then, I’ve managed to keep them alive. But there’s one that’s always been much smaller than the other two. I’ve struggled to keep it alive. Just a few months ago, I thought it had seen its last day. But I couldn’t bear the thought of throwing it out. It’s a pleasant reminder of the many people in the community who came to pay their respects and to let us know how much my father meant to them.

Not really knowing what to do, and not taking the time to ask a “green thumb”, I trimmed away all the dead parts – that didn’t leave much. I cleaned out the debris in the soil, wiped the dust off the leaves, gave it a good drink of water, and hoped for the best.

As days passed, I realized it was perking up. I decided I must have saved it just in time, but really didn’t expect anything more. Yesterday, much to my surprise, I noticed this little peace lily was blooming – not one bloom, but two! How? I wondered. Then I thought about what I’d done for the little plant. At that moment, I was also reminded of what God has done for me.

Just like that little peace lily, I’m just one little insignificant person in a multitude of people on this earth – yet God knows me by name. He knows the number of hairs on my head at any given moment. He knows my thoughts and my heart – He is my Creator and He cares for me. Just like the dead leaves on the plant, because of sin, I am sure to experience a physical death. After we are born, we begin the process of aging, which leads to eventual death.

I realized the plant looked better immediately after pruning the dead parts, but I remembered being told once about the debris in the soil. If the soil isn’t kept free of trash, it can be contaminated with bacteria that will affect the root system of the plant. As sinners, we have to continually ask God to expose our deepest, darkest sins. Things we may not even think of at first. Satan likes to keep things hid from us, hoping we won’t realize they’re there. As long as we’re burying those sins, they will remain there – and we will remain unforgiven. Exposing sin and asking for forgiveness will clear our conscience and cleanse our hearts.

After cleaning out around the soil, I decided to also take a damp cloth and wipe away the dust from the leaves. Jesus does that for me all the time. As hard as I may try to live a sin-free life, I still get dirty and dusty. He gently picks me up and wipes me off. I feel so much better afterward, and it’s easier to carry on my every day life.

When I notice the peace lilies wilting, I know they need water. Just a few hours after watering, I notice a big difference in their appearance. Their leaves are standing up right again, ready to meet another day. As I water my plants, I’m reminded of the Everlasting Water that Christ gives me. This water quenches my thirst and never runs dry.

After caring for this dying little plant, all I could do was hope for the best. My hope in Christ reminds me that no matter what life brings my way, my Gardner is always there to watch over me. He knows everything I need before I even need it. If I will allow him, he will care for me and bless me with the spiritual growth I need to grow into a healthy, display of His grace and mercy.

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