I’m not much of a gardener. But ever since college, I have had one kind of plant or another. Some plants I’ve killed, some have had insects get them. My plants are like children or pets to my little single self.
Currently my apartment has 4 plants and my office has one. Vine has been with me since my college or seminary years. Spike sits in my office and was a gift from a friend I think at my ordination. Not sure because I’ve had other spike plants over the years. Poinsettia was given to me at Christmas by a parishioner as a house warming gift. And yes, it’s still alive. Chrysanthemum was given to me by my church when I accepted the call as their Associate Minister last summer. And finally, there’s Basil. (And yes, those are their names.)
Chrysanthemum and Basil have been at the office the last few weeks because while I was away my fellow office folks watered them. They need daily watering and they weren’t going to get that while I was in Charleston. When I returned from mission trip, I left the plants at church because I was leaving for vacation 3 weeks later. Made sense. It’s weird not having them in the apartment though.
Today I went to water Basil and I noticed bugs. An indoor plants worse nightmare. Little gnat like things, flying around the soil and leaves. Ugh…now what? The office has other plants and those weren’t infected so, it’s just mine. Of course. I started to get really frustrated and deflated, something I imagine my parents feel when I let them down. I got on the internet and googled “how to kill insects on basil plants.” And promptly freaked out at the numerous sites that came up. Turns out a plant spray I purchased this spring will work and I will take it to church in the morning but for a second there I was worried. I love my basil plant. He brings me fresh basil and makes my apartment smell nice. Don’t die on me Basil because of stupid, pesky insects!
On the drive home from church I started thinking. This feeling of worry, deflatedness and frustration over Basil is like a parent worrying over a child. It’s like our incredible, loving, Creator God worrying about Her creation.
God patiently watches us grow and thrive. God patiently stands by and watches as we do something stupid, worrying and frustrated like any parent or guardian. God prunes us and cares for us and loves us. God weeps with us in times of mourning and moments when we turn our back on Him. God is the ultimate gardener, carefully taking care of Creation without meddling too much because let’s face it, God also gave humanity free will so…choices are ours to make. Through it all – ups and downs, tears and laughter, frustrated and joy, whatever it is…God doesn’t stop caring and loving us, which I think is the best gift ever.