Like blooming flowers, no one is perfect
None of us go through life without facing challenges and hard times.
I dislike throwing out plants, especially flowers. As a result, over the years I have collected poinsettias, amaryllis, angel wings, Easter lilies and other plants that have blossomed and then been set aside.
Often, I will set the plants in a window and try to remember to water them. Others get put in pots set outside my house. It is a little challenge to see if I can get them to bloom again.
As a result of this little challenge, I have enjoyed having Easter lilies sprout and bloom in October and Poinsettias turn red in January. This spring, one of the Easter lilies from 2020 sprouted again. It grew to be quite tall when I noticed the buds forming.
I had hoped it would blossom at Easter, but it wasn’t to be. Finally, last week the blossoms opened.
It isn’t what I would call an extremely beautiful plant. The beautiful Easter lilies you would buy at the store are maybe 12 inches tall; this one is more than twice that tall. The ones you buy in the store stand nice and straight; this one is curved in multiple directions.
The unusual shape of the Easter lily is the result of the setting in which it grew. You see, this Easter lily sat on a window sill with a west exposure. This provided great light for the plant to grow. The downside was the plant grew to an unusual shape. I noticed as the plant grew, it began to lean toward the window — so I would turn the flower pot and the plant hoping it would straighten up. A week or so later, it was again leaning toward the window and so I would turn the pot again.
Sometimes I would turn the pot more frequently. Other times it might be a couple of weeks before it got turned. But the plant never straightened up. The leaning created the crooked stem and resulted in the unusual shape of this Easter lily.
The crooked Easter lily is representative of many of our lives. I have a “Pluggers” comic strip hanging on my office wall. Four guys are sitting at the local diner and one of them says, “Remember that St. Patrick’s Day party when you…” The caption underneath reads “When a plugger has lived it up he has to live it down.”
All of us have made mistakes, or questionable choices that we have to live down. And none of us go through life without facing challenges and hard times.
Fortunately, grace abounds. Faced with challenges and opportunities as we have grown, we persevered. We have adapted much like my Easter lily. We hear Jesus say, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”
We may have to live with the consequences of our choices but that is not the end. We may have gotten turned around at points but we find ourselves turning to the Light of the world. In him there is not judgement but grace, forgiveness and life.
As you enjoy the green leaves and grass and watch the flowers grow and blossom, may the light of Christ Jesus shine in your heart and may you grow toward the light.
Galen Smith is pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Worthington.