Sunday, March 01, 2009

Why My Black Thumb Makes Me Think of God

I'm not known as the gardener in this family.

The other day I noticed that I was once again murdering my philodendron. I forget the little things, like, oh, say, water.

My pathetic little plant was yellowed and droopy. Beyond droopy. It was teetering on the edge of its earthly existence, about to join the choir invisible of greenery.

I decided to station it by the kitchen sink, near a light. I gave it copious amounts of water and it quickly bounced back, as perhaps only a Karen-proof plant philodendron can.

It revived so well, so completely, that I have left it by the kitchen sink so that I can revel in its wondrous resilience every day. Yesterday, as I sighed contentedly in its general direction, I was struck by the fact that God is so much like my philodendron, minus the "yellow" and the "droopy" and "teetering on the edge" (okay, so bear with me ... it's an imperfect analogy.)

What He is, though, is this: Forgiving. Always there. Patient. Waiting for me to come back to Him. Knowing that I will. And offering me, in spite of all that is lacking in me, the transparent joy that comes from gazing in His general direction.


mel said...

Aren't philodendron's wonderful? I've had mine for years, and it's the only houseplant I've ever managed to keep alive. They last through anything! I even froze mine once when I left it outdoors a couple of days in the middle of a move. The leaves all turned black and mooshy. I snipped them all off and it came back! :) Great Lenten plant, lol.

Stacie.Make.Do. said...

Actually, I read somewhere that philodendrons *like* being ignored to the point of drooping. You can definitely kill them with too much kindness (so don't be too hard on yourself). But that doesn't fit with your nice religious analogy, so never mind.
Though I would've said that my spiritual life was the plant and I was the gardener, and God was the water...

Love your blog.

Karen E. said...

Mel, your story gives me hope that I can rise to new levels of neglect with my plants. :)

And, Stacie, thanks for the kind words, and also, your analogy is loads better than mine, and works on all levels, whereas as mine was hastily thrown together. :) Mine centered around the gazing, having come from Adoration, and being focused on that kind of joy and unconditional love. But, I love yours, too, in terms if it actually falling into place all around. :)

The Bookworm said...

I like the analogy, but I'm afraid if God was like any sort of plant in my house he would be dead. I have even been known to kill cacti through lack of water.

sksherwin said...

This post made me laugh ... my Mom gave me a philodendron to take to college with me, and it sat green and gorgeous in my dorm room for the longest time, til one day I realized I'd never (never) watered it. So I peeked in the vase (an opaque milk-jug-type) and it was so dry it was dusty! So I added a little water, and it promptly withered up and died. I like your experience -- and analogy -- so much better!