Almost six years ago, amidst devastation due to the death of my best friend, her mother gave me one of the many plants that had been sent as a condolence. It is that plant that sits on my bookshelf in a position where each morning begins by me waking up and looking at it. This morning, I realized it’s becoming increasingly obvious that the leaves are growing significantly more towards the sunlight, one of nature’s incredible abilities. This made me think of the fact that God promises in Romans that “ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature…have been understood and seen through the things that He has made”. God chooses to reveal Himself through EVERYTHING created.
Let me give you a little more background on this incredibly resilient plant. When Kisha died, I was still living in my dorm room at Mozart Square, so this became its first home. There, it thrived. Youth was on its side, yes, but so was my diligence in taking care of it. It grew, it blossomed beautiful flowers, and it flourished. That summer, I was headed to Spain so I left the plant in the care of the Harriman family, a family near and dear to my heart. When I returned, Sarah made the comment that this plant was a plant that could never die. Apparently, some time would go by and she would forget to water it, but without fail, the plant would slowly begin to get wimp and wither slightly as a reminder to water it (I’m at a point now, I feel that I should probably name this plant)…it never fully gave up, just sent gradual clues. As soon as water was given, the plant bounced back to life. Immediately.
This plant has also been through MANY transitions in life. After returning home from Spain, I moved the plant back to my new apartment in Denton. It was here that I left it outside for awhile to get some sunlight and somehow completely forgot about it. Weeks went by in the Texas heat (so hot I didn’t even go out on my porch to notice it), and I finally remembered this plant. When I opened the doors, I saw a plant that looked like an elephant had sat upon it, it was so dried, flat, and seemingly dead. Miraculously, I nursed that thing back to life! The following summer, I had to leave it in the care of the ladies at my dad’s office while I was at Teach For America Institute. At some point, my dad brought the plant with him on a drive over to LA so that the plant could have a new home in Gardena. Eventually, I moved to another place in Torrance and then back to Gardena, always carefully placing the plant in my front seat to transport over to its new home. Gardena was where destruction really hit hard. My sister and I decided it would be a good idea to get some bunnies (not so cute, let me tell you). One day, we left the bunnies out to have some freedom, and when we returned home that day, the plant was completely eaten! I was really upset, but with its history, was convinced there was hope (my sister wasn’t so certain). Over the next few months, little stalks started to appear and by the time I moved to San Diego almost a year and a half ago, it was beginning to look more and more like a plant again.
When Desi came to visit in September, her friend made a comment to her regarding how pathetic my plant looked. However, by the time they left that week, the plant was as perky as – I don’t know, something really perky. All it took was a little bit of water. Now, I know that this seems only obvious that this would be the case, but I don’t think I can fully convey just how severely this plant has been neglected, yet how patient and resilient it continues to be. This is where it reminded me of us, as believers.
We all know the story that in the beginning, God commanded that there be light, and there was light. How fitting that this sunlight is what causes growth and sustains life for living creatures, particularly apparent with my plant right now. In Isaiah, it says to, “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness covers the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you.” This is exactly what my plant has exemplified. It has arisen, it has shone,and because I understand the depths of despair this plant has been through, I realize that His glory appears all over it (seriously, in the meantime, I can think of 8 other plants that have died during this plant’s incredible life). The plant knows directly where to go to receive this light and immediately benefits from it. Do I always go exactly where I need to go, do I always bend towards the Light that I know provides nourishment and life? John 1 also tells us, “all things come into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it….the true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.”
In the past, I have forgotten to water my plant frequently. I love the little watering balls that you can get from Bed, Bath & Beyond, because it leaves a constant source of water to provide the plant whenever it needs. Pretty crazy the response from the plant. In John 6, Jesus promises that “whoever believes in me will never be thirsty”. We know where to go to get our thirst quenched, yet how often to I neglect to go there and choose to find my own drink instead, resulting in more thirst than before. We’re given one of these little watering balls to consult daily for guidance, assurance, and direction – but am I daily immersing myself in His Word to ensure that, for His glory, I am satisfied?
I don’t know how well my words can convery everything it was that this plant made me think about and you might be getting a little nervous regarding my sanity right now seeing how much this plant means to me, but I thought I would try and pass it along. Here is a picture of my plant this morning:
Any ideas for a name? Clearly, it needs a name!