by MW Cook

I’m a gardener, but I’m a very lazy blogger.

I have 20 potted plants in my house. They are beautiful tropical things that cost less that a buck each. Some of them are crazy exotic plants that you really can’t find in Canada, and some are very familiar and you can get them at your local greenhouse. I don’t think I know the proper name of a single one, but I take pretty good care of them and I give them names myself.

I think God is a bit like a gardener. You know, all my plants are different, but they have some things in common. When a new plant first arrives in my house it does great for about a week. No problems, no bugs, lots of flowers, lovely smell. It’s like when they first sign up they’re excited and ready to fulfill their role in my house. After that, some plants experience a…disheartening.

Take my one plant, Morning Glory. I call it that because Rani says that’s what it is. I don’t know any better so the name sticks. He’s one of my first plants. He’s never had a problem with bugs or too much sun or water or anything like that. But I noticed about a month ago that he stopped producing flowers. They were such beautiful flowers too, violet and white. I started to look into why it stopped. I discovered that Morning Glory is a climbing plant. But my Morning Glory had never climbed before. So I got some rope, tied one end to the plant and tacked another end on the wall and watched. Sure enough, after about a week Morning Glory was slowly, cautiously climbing. Two weeks ago the beautiful flowers appeared. All is good again with him. The moral: If you are not doing what you are made to do, your fruit will falter. Morning Glory looked sick and cranky until he started to climb; now he’s having a great time. Find out what your role is and do it.

I have a very neat plant that doesn’t have a name. It’s like two little palm trees, though thinner, with the oddest dark red flowers you’ve ever seen. They look like little cups hanging from the branches. It used to be the best in the house. Recently, this dear plant was overrun with bugs. Little critters that spun webs of nastiness around the branches, choking the life out of the flowers, leaves and branches. At first I tried to be gentle, picking off the leaves that were infected, but the bug spread. I took off whole branches at a time, but they still spread. Two days ago I took desperate measures. I chopped off every branch, removing every trace of the bugs. If I didn’t, the plant would have died. I think the plant will live now. The moral: Sometimes when it looks like God is killing us he’s really saving our lives.

Another plant spent too much time away from me. He used to have lovely purple flowers that gave off the most beautiful smell of the whole garden. Then he was left on the roof too long. In the scorching sun with no water all the leaves and flowers crumbled and died. I found him many days later. He looked dead. I took him out of the sun. I pruned off the parts that could not be salvaged and gentling watered him and nursed him. Slowly new leaves formed, eventually he grew tall again and a flower even came up. This was months ago, and he still bears nasty scars from his experience, but I know he’ll pull through because I’m taking care of him. The moral: Don’t drift away from him. His steadfast love endures forever, He won’t let one of His own fall utterly.

Different things work with different plants. Some plants need a ton of sun, some plants need almost none. Thankfully I know what each plant needs. Even though I may hurt them from time to time (pruning and purging), I will never, ever harm them. I want what’s best for my plants and I’ll do anything to them in order to get it, even if it means bringing them down low almost to the point of death. They are utterly dependant on me. Without me watering them they would die very quickly. The same is with God, He holds our breath and we’d die much faster than my plants.