“Although they appear to have their backs turned away from each other, they are of one stalk, which makes me think they are looking out for each other. Lesson for life: we are all one.”
Years ago I wrote a post about giving an Amaryllis gift. They are a beautiful bloom, if you have the patience to wait. This particular one was given to us at Christmas. However it was just a tin pot with some brown moss neatly packed inside. I wasn't sure what to make of it. Or what to do with it.
Although it was a Christmas gift, the flowers don’t show up until a few months later, closer to Easter. Day after day, week after week I would look and water and water and look, and wait, wait, wait! Then, just as I began to lose interest, a little green leaves begin to pop out. Followed by a green stalk. Not long after that the flower appears. A regal reminder of the payout for patience.
This year, I wasn’t waiting. I wasn’t paying attention. I wasn’t doing anything when I noticed the stalk and the big bud at the end soaking in the sunshine. I brought it indoors so I wouldn’t forget to water and wait. Then, while I wasn’t watching, the flower emerged. I realized I had nothing to do with this process. It was all out of my hands.
But the real gift for me came when I noticed (for the first time) that it’s not one but two flowers that bloom from of each bud. Honestly, I didn’t even notice that until I posted this picture on Instagram. And I'm pretty sure I only noticed because I was trying to think up a good caption for it.
This is what I wrote: “Although they appear to have their backs turned away from each other, they are of one stalk, which makes me think they are looking out for each other. Lesson for life: we are all one.”
I’m not saying this was a profound statement. But, at least for me, it was a divine moment. Something that happens when God reminds you of the golden thread that binds us together with our Creator. I like to think of them as moments when the Divine interrupts life in such a way that it changes the way you see life forever.
It was in a picture of this plant, and not the plant itself, that God slapped me upside the back of my head and said “Open your eyes. Do you see what I see?”
Here’s what I saw. In that space between those two flowers was the stem from which such beauty came. The two are really one.
It made me think about the space between two people? Between couples? Or counties? Theologies? Ideologies? Is it possible that although we may think we are different, we are really one - woven together by one Divine thread.
If this is the case, then no one human is any better than the other. We are all made from the same source. We might look at the world from different perspectives, but our eyes will still see one thing - the Kingdom of God in all its glory.
We may not always see eye-to-eye. But we still ought to look out for one another. Just as God looks out for everyone. This reminds me of something Jesus once asked, “Doesn’t God cause the rain to fall on good people and bad people?”
Because I noticed this particular plant, one that sat among the many on my back porch, my eyes were open to something bigger. And my life will never be the same.
This plant, with this spectacular flower, helped me to remember that God loves me, and cares for me just as much as this small forgotten and neglected plant. God isn’t making me more or less worthy for the fullness of life, and wants me to bloom as magnificently as this life giving gift. But God wants the same from us as well. To love and care for each other, no matter what.
We cannot put ourselves above one another. If we humble ourselves to help the other, and the other does the same for you and me, then we will have no need, or no fears or anxieties that are often paired with them.
Seeing myself as this plant, I find assurance and peace knowing that God's Divine love is a love that loves all. There is no other way. God does not see some better than others. Instead sees the beauty in us all, if only because God is drawn to the divine image within all.
We are all connected to the same bulb, the same root, the same source. We all need the same light, the same resources for growth and potential. There is no room for division, but plenty of room for unity.
Our world, our country, our communities, and even our families are more divided than ever before. And now more than ever we need to stand together, to be One United people. It doesn’t take much more than seeing Divine love in that space between these two flowers.
We all are of this earth. And to that earth we will one day return. And yet, out of this earth more life will come.
An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”