In response, our small church in South Dakota graciously bought me a small rubber plant to brighten the hospital room.
Normally, I'm a lover of bright-colored, audaciously gorgeous flowers, but since this wee plain plant was given in love, I took it in and gave it a home.
For years, the plant did nothing. Sat there with its two or three boring leaves, just taking up space.
Then we moved to the Pacific Northwest—books, musical instruments, plants and all. For about four years, my rubber plant sat quietly, unobtrusively, tucked away in the corner by the dog food container. That's what I had come to expect from it. Though it was the least interesting of all plants I had ever seen, I love growing things, so I didn't actually mind watering it and giving it a bit of space in my home. Honestly, however, I wasn't at all impressed.
And then something changed. Neither of us has any idea what happened inside that little rubber plant's system, but for some reason, it began to grow. . .and Grow. . .and GROW.
After three years, we noticed that the crazy thing had branches coming out the side, new leaves constantly unfolding, and was completely outgrowing its little pot. As it took up more and more of our dining room space, we kept looking at each other, wondering what on earth it was planning to do. When our kids would come home for a meal, they would frequently stand and gape, distracted by its huge increase in stature. "Uh, Mom, what's happening to this plant???"
Now, I'm not always real quick on the uptake. Real gardeners might have realized years ago that the poor thing needed more dirt, more space, more support and structure. But as we were walking through a hardware store yesterday, I was suddenly inspired with the idea of transplanting it into an old pottery outdoor pot, whose previous occupant had sadly frozen and died last winter. All we needed was some potting soil, and a water catcher underneath to protect the rug. For under $15 and about 15 minutes of my time, our rubber plant—which has now morphed into a tree!—received a new lease on life. A welcoming place to be rooted and grounded, and, as they say, a place to stretch its wings.
Now, here's the question:
Is there anyone in YOUR home that needs a little time and attention? Maybe you've noticed one of your kids, who has always been quiet and unobtrusive, starting to bloom, talk, and be social. I encourage you to give them room and encouragement to become all that God has set within them—even if it's different from what you thought it might be.
Or, perhaps it's you that is unexpectedly growing, having new, healthier responses, finding interests in increasing areas, I applaud you! And, as one who just learned something valuable last night, I would encourage you to make space to become all that God has set within you. Give yourself permission to grow and change.
He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.