Thursday, February 10, 2011

The whole picture

My friend gave me a wicker pot with two little stumps poking out, separated by moss. It didn't look like much was going on. "Moisten the soil," read the instructions.

So I watered it faithfully, putting it into the light, waiting for something to happen. It was a few weeks before life started to emerge from the brown bulbs. Stubby green shafts stretched into long leaves that drooped under their own weight. One morning, I noticed a thick stem pushing up from each center, with enlarged tips that grew day by day.

Over the past few days, several flowers have unfurled on each stalk, dimming from hot red to gentle pink as they open. The stamen swing gracefully from the centers, and the plants pulse with beauty that takes my breath away.

Who knew such plainness could erupt into graceful flowers? The gardener who tended the bulbs did. My friend, purchasing the planter as a Christmas treat, believed his/her report. Since I'm not new to gardening, I've seen the staggering change of amaryllis bulbs before. There was no doubt in my mind, though I didn't know the kind or color.

But for these flowers to bloom, the gardener worked the fields. Martha found the gift and brought it to my house, knowing I love gardening and beauty. I followed instructions and tended it. Any of us would have ruined its glorious potential with neglect or harm. We could have ignored the habits of the specific genus, drowning it or drying it out beyond its needs, giving it light too soon or not at all. To come into full flower, each of us cooperated. No one of us could have done this alone, yet God brought about its potential through our mutual labor.

The fullest realization of any effort results from obedience and faithful care to bring a promise to fulfillment... in a garden or a well-tended life. We are called to faithfulness whether we are entrusted with a spouse or a child, a family or partnership, a job, a task, or a ministry God puts on our horizon.

The amaryllis reminded me that only one of us is enjoying its beauty in person. I get to share its glory with you via photos.

Many hands worked together to make this experience possible. Likewise, sometimes we see in part why we're involved in a person's life or put on a project. Occasionally we never find out what happened as a result of all our hard work. Sharing freely and without stinting our gifts and work, we allow God to bring about the full beauty of his creativity.

What is in your hands to do today?

Read more: 
*He decided how hard the winds should blow and how much rain should fall. He made the laws for the rain and laid out a path for the lightning. Then he saw wisdom and evaluated it. He set it in place and examined it thoroughly. And this is what he says to all humanity: 'The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding.' Job 28:25–28 NLT 

*Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. Proverbs 15:22

*Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 NIV


  1. Oh, and the green backdrop? Trees God planted and sustains outside our kitchen nook... without ANY help from us.

  2. i like flowers in my home too, have a nice day