February 02, 2009
Everlasting Orchids — Lynda Schultz
My thumb is blackish-green. I used to have a couple of beautiful Christmas Cacti that lasted for years—emphasis on the “used to.” My Anthuriums are doing wonderfully, as are the Hibiscus, Geraniums, Aloe, Palm, and Spider plants. At the moment, the African Violets are perky—but that could change suddenly, and for the worst.
Feeling quite “green” about things, I decided to try my hand at orchids. One of our pastors is quite knowledgeable on the subject and offered to give me a couple of starter plants when he next divided his impressive stock. He also gave me detailed instructions on how to care for my new “babies.” These I have followed almost to the letter.
Then I “stole a march” on him, as they say. A friend and I were looking for potting soil in one of the many gardening shops here in Caracas when I spotted the Lady Slipper. I asked the price and knew immediately that this was a steal of a deal. Pastor Rocky’s thumb was not the only thing that was green when I told him about the newest baby in my orchid nursery.
For a long time I mistakenly referred to orchids as parasites. In my ignorance, I wondered how anything so beautiful could attribute its splendor to the ability to suck the life out of another living being. The truth is that the varieties of orchids that grow on trees simply use those other living beings as anchors and take nothing from their hosts. They draw their life from the air.
One spiritual lesson strikes me from this tiny bit of information.
In ministry I look for the “orchids”—those who want to know God, not just take from me the information I might be able to provide about Him; those who need support from me, but understand that they are sustained by their relationship to the Lord.
Plants come and go. My black thumb may kill my Lady Slipper one day (though I will work hard to prevent that), but my eternal consolation is that my spiritual orchids are guaranteed by God to flourish forever.