Hi, my name is Caitlyn, and I am a plant killer.
To clarify, I love plants. I think they are so pretty and great. I want to live in a house full of plants, like Max's room as it was transitioning into Where the Wild Things Are. The only issue hindering that plan is that I either smother them to death and drown them or forget about them and leave them to fry, unprotected, in the sun.
I don't love it.
The specific plant to which I am referring here is, The Succulent. Supposedly adaptable, drought tolerant, and un-killable, the succulent is meant to be the ideal plant for the fauna-challenged. Only after 3 years of trying have I finally learned a care routine for these persnickety plants. For those of you who may similarly struggle, here is a hint- water them once a week, and put them in sunshine. AH KNOW RIGHT.
I bought some succulents recently because I found these pretty hanging terrariums at Target and wanted to plant some succulents in them and hang them like the pinterest people who understand plants do. The first transplant went swimmingly. The second, didn't really. The plant was a little too big for the hole. Undaunted, I just shoved it in and knocked off 80% of the leaves. The other 19% fell off within the week, leaving one lonesome, detached leaf. Defeat.
I left it there until I had time to buy a new victim... er, plant. Then one day I noticed little translucent, gossamer roots webbing out from the leaf and reaching for the dirt. A few days later there was the tiniest shoot coming from the bottom of the leaf, 5 perfect teeny leaves! I was like Horton with his little Who's. I would say encouraging things to the bloom and sprinkle water on it, and Robin would look on like this was it, I was actually losing it. But it was growing!
Then, after all it had overcome, it's terrarium broke and the plant fell on the floor and the blooms broke off from their mother leaf. I was so sad, the poor planty. I picked up the mama leaf and the baby plant and put them in a new pot and hoped for the best. You can do it again, I whispered. Then I resorted to my old strategy and didn't touch it. The mama leaf got a little funky and rotted, but the baby is still green and alive!
I think this has something to say about God. Because it's not just succulents that can recover from some serious trauma. Lizards can regrow their tails and starfish can regrow their arms and trees can grow out of stumps. I shared this with a friend recently who has been feeling like her terrarium got dropped and all the dirt landed on her just when she was starting to bloom again. And while it doesn't feel like it sometimes, we are in partnership with a God who is all about bringing new life out of brokenness. We are filled with a Spirit who brings life and healing to places we thought would be raw and throbbing forever. That's why the Gospel is so important, because there's a promise that wherever there is death, there is resurrection.
And here's this stuff! Because God is good to us, and sometimes the good stuff feels hard to receive because it hurts and may mean a lot of our leaves falling off, but He is also nice to us:
- "Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up... Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth." - hosea 6: 1, 3
- "But when Jesus heard it He said, ' this illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the son of God may be glorified through it.'" - john 11:4
Who do you need to remind of God's goodness and gentleness? What are the areas in your own life where you are needing resurrection? It may be helpful to look beyond the external circumstances and see what is really causing the hurt- do you feel like you've lost your identity? Your security? Do you feel like you're not enough because you can't ______? Let's pray and believe that God will heal us in those raw places.