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A Flower in Spite of Myself

I am thinking today about plants and gardening. I just got done planting a bunch of annuals around the outside of the house. They look pretty good, if I do say so myself! But of course, I didn't make the flowers. All I did was buy them and put them in pots with some soil. I will make sure they have water and get fed occasionally (if I remember to do that). But other than that, they kind of just grow without much input from me.

I've always like flowers and plants. My house has plants in many of the windowsills, much to my husband's chagrin. Some of them flowering, some of them not. They get weekly attention from me with watering (and speaking to them) and every couple of months some plant food to help them along. I even, surprise of surprises! have orchids that bloom. It took a long time for that to happen and I still don't quite know what I did to get them to blossom. They are so full of blooms now, I have to tie their heavy stalks to the locking mechanism on the window so they won't keep falling over. They are gloriously exotic and beautiful. But again, I don't know what I did to get them to bloom and flourish. It just sort of happened.

But there is one plant in the kitchen area, that I am not fond of. It has stalky stems, irregular leaves, many of them browning and falling all over everything. I tried cutting back the stems to make it look more bushy or uniform, but they came back and grew all over the place after that. I gave up trying to get it to look attractive. But I can't quite make myself throw it out. I don't like it, but it's still alive and well, it started blooming the other day. Now, I don't go out of my way to take care of this thing. I don't speak to it like I do most of the other plants. But it doesn't seem to care. It's blooming nonetheless.

And I began to think about the way I live my faith life. I teach an adult Sunday School class, and it uplifts and supports me like nothing else. The people who come to the class listen and discuss and question with me and well, I find myself blooming in their care. However, during the week, I can be quite stalky and ugly; finding fault with people I work with and grumbling about others who seem inconsiderate to me. And I wonder, what does God see when I'm like that? As opposed to the sunshine daisy of Sunday morning, does he see a cactus in its place the rest of the week? We are to be the hands of God all the time, not just Sunday mornings. And how can I show how much love God pours down on me, if all I can do is squash the plants (or people) around me with negativity?

God's grace is there nevertheless. Whether I bask in its beauty or hide under a rock like a worm. It pours down on each of us, no matter where we are planted and no matter how much soil, water or plant food we are given. I'm going to try to be more open to receiving that love and care that God so graciously sends our way. I know that I will not always be the glorious flowering plant I hope to be, but I hope to at least try to bloom where I am planted.

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