Monday, May 23, 2011

The Foxgloves In My Garden

Last year I decided to plant perennial foxgloves in my garden. I planted what appeared to be two healthy and green plants last summer; but as with all of my perennials in my garden, I don't know if they will make it until the following spring.

NOT my foxgloves...yet!
I watch my garden with great attention. I know every plant and watch each one carefully. They each have special needs, not just from variety to variety, but from plant to plant. They all get fertilizer, water and sun as required, and regular hands-on care (shaping, pruning, deadheading, etc.). These new foxgloves are no different.

One overwintered beautifully. It awoke in early April with a lovely sprout in the center of the spent leaves from last year, the way it's supposed to grow, and has been growing quite perfectly. Right now it's wide, lush, green and beautiful. I'm confident it will flower beautifully.

The other didn't overwinter well at all. More than half of it was damaged by the rain and snow this past winter and spring. It's center sprout rotted and died off after only a few days. I really thought it was a goner; but then on one side of the plant I saw a little wisp of green peeking out from under the spent leaves.

Have you noticed how hard nature fights to live?

It's a good thing I spotted the leaves, as the damage might kill this poor little guy's chances. I cut away the dead leaves on the damaged side, careful to remove anything that appeared to be rotting. It continued to grow, and now a month later my damaged foxglove appears to be growing nicely. It's a little bit lopsided at the moment, but I'm pretty confident that in spite of its late start and tougher road back to life, this foxglove will flower beautifully.

Isn't this what God does with us?

When we finally hear His call upon our hearts and find the courage to reach out to Him from under the damage that we've done to ourselves through sin and despair--no matter how bad we think it is--He knows exactly what to do for each of us. He knows how to cut away all that damage. As we fight our desire to sin which we know will lead us back to death, He feeds us with His Word and with His Body, and He tends us through the sacraments. As we continue to reach for Him through prayer He reaches back with grace, and we grow strong in Him.

It doesn't matter how or when we start our new life in Christ; if we reach out for Him we, too, will flower beautifully.

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