Green Thumb

Plants! Those wonderful creations that cause us to wonder and to work. They are therapeutic yet time consuming. They create warmth, but need special care. Plants sprout, they grow, and then they die. We can learn so much from plants.

Several years ago, I investigated the greenness of my thumb. I rescued several abused specimens from markets in the city. They must have shuddered in horror when they saw who was taking them.

Together we grew. Some plants responded well. Others took their time. I grew in knowledge and soon was tempted to write a book on “How Plants Survive in Spite of You.” Through trial and error, I managed to keep more than half of them alive. Some continued to do quite will. A few had their own offspring, and others – well, we continued to learn.

In exchange for the wonderful care these “friends” were getting, they were giving me an education. It is amazing how plants are so much like we are. Here are some notes from what the plants taught me.

Plants need food – What food do we need? The Bible tells us that “man cannot live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Are we getting a balanced diet? How healthy are we, based on the amount of “food supplement” we get from the Bible?

Plants need water – Water is needed so that plants can draw up the nutrients from the soil. Are we allowing God to feed us and give us strength? Do we spend time in prayer, receiving strength that only God can provide?

Plants need personal care – They need close attention to see that they are doing well. We need care as well. We need the care and attention from close friends around us. Are we attempting to live care-less in this busy, crowded, lonely world? Are there others around us who need the care that we can give?

When one plant gets infested with bugs, it spreads – I think sometimes plants have a conspiracy going. Bugs can surely be a pain, and they spread so quickly. Do we have any “bugs?” Are those bugs of negativeness, hostility, rebellion or even indifference plaguing us? Are we spreading them around? Maybe we are keeping them from being spread?

I thoroughly enjoyed the plants I had. Sure they needed my care and attention, but they were good for me. We kind of gave and took.

People are much more important than plants. I think we even need more care and attention. I trust that these plants will teach all of us about living healthy lives. May we all flourish amongst each other as we entrust ourselves to God’s care.