March 09, 2018

The Chrysanthemum Knows - Shirley S. Tye

God has spoken to me many times; in soft whispers, in a clear loud voice, in dreams, gentle nudges, and through nature.  This Lent season, He spoke to me through a house plant.  

Autumn of 2017, I had a beautiful yellow-flowered chrysanthemum.  Fall may appear as death when leaves drift to the wet ground, days shorten, and the air chills.  But as summer was fading, the bright yellow flowers lifted my spirit.  I smiled each time I looked at it. 

As all living things, it had its end.  The flowers withered, the leaves shriveled and browned, and the soil dried hard until little stiff twigs only remained.  Then one day the wind toppled the pot over on the deck.  I left it there; ignoring it; sadness filling me each time I caught a glimpse of it in the corner of my eye.  I intended to carry it to the bush behind our house and give it a silent, unemotional burial. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it.  That would definitely signal the end of summer with cold bitter days ahead.    

The pot lay on its side for many days.  One day, my husband decided to pick it up and dispose of it.  To his surprise, he saw a little bit of green growth in the dried soil. He hurried into the house and excitedly showed it to me.  I was amazed.  I began nurturing it.  I cut away the dead twigs, gave it fresh soil, and watered it.  I placed it in a sunny south-facing window in the house.  The winter was cold especially December with minus 35 Celsius but the little chrysanthemum sprouted new stems and leaves.  Soon it was a healthy bushy plant again.  The end of February, the Mum gave me another surprise.  It had buds!  Now, just eight days into March it looks like spring in our home.   

House plants are blooming.  But the Mum is the most surprising to me.  I had left it for dead last fall; thinking of tossing it into the forest.  But now it is alive and well.  It has new life!  Like the new life Jesus has provided us.  He gave His life for us.  He readily forgives and washes our sins away when we turn to Him and receive Him as our Lord and Saviour.  Hallelujah!  I may not have given anything up for Lent but Jesus gave His all.  I’m over joyed He did not toss me away in my days of “dryness and death” as I contemplated doing to the Mum. He patiently waited for me to turn to Him!  Praise the Lord!  Image that; a chrysanthemum reminding me about how great is my God!     

“For you shall go out with joy and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”  Isaiah 55:12 NKJV


  1. This is a wonderful story Shirley and very well written. You should consider entering it into a contest or two!

    1. Thank you. I'll consider it, if I come across a contest looking for a short piece.

  2. Thank you-what a lovely little sun-shiney story.

  3. I try to nurture my plants along, but I get busy and sometimes forget. Oops! It's a good thing God doesn't forget about us so easily. That's neat that all your mum needed was a bit of a shake-up. Your story bring sunshine into my soul. Thanks.


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