Reading the news this morning, it would be easy to be depressed. Evil seems to be winning. I know the media tend to focus on bad news, but this latest set of headlines seemed worse than usual. As I prayed over some of the various issues, the word that kept coming to mind was “darkness.” We live in a world filled with deep darkness.
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
I’m back. Or, at least my body is now present in Colorado, United States. The rest of me, I’m not so sure.
Part of me is here, glad to be home. Part of me is still in Swaziland—with the children and “go-gos”(grandmothers) at the Gege CarePoint and with the missionaries from South Africa, Zambia, and the U.S. who are bringing light into a very dark place. I’m sure some scattered pieces of myself left a trail as we traveled. It will be some time before I can gather all my thoughts into a coherent, organized whole. After all, I only got home yesterday.
For now, what I want to tell you is that prayer works! You know that already, right? After all, why pray if God never answers. That would be pointless. Most of the time, however, we more or less take it on faith that our prayers accomplish something. These last two weeks, I saw answers in action.
After years of debate, dead needles, and adamant kids (“It has to be real or it’s not Christmas!”), we finally broke down and bought an artificial tree. The cost of a fresh fir has gotten out of hand (and they sure didn’t last very long in our dry climate), plus our kids and their husbands had their own places, and could make their own fake-or-fresh decisions.
We looked long and hard to find a tree that looked as real as possible, and I’m happy to say that it fools many people. Even better, it came with the lights already integrated into the branches. No more tangled strings of lights, with all the reds in a clump and whole sections of tree dark. No sirree, things would be easy now. Continue reading
“Mom, can you fix it?”
My college freshman was looking at me with a dejected, mournful expression. She was holding the spider plant I had sent to school with her. It looked awful. Wilted, brown leaves hung limply over the edge of the plastic pot. There were no signs of life.
“Well, that one looks kind of done, but I can give you another one. I’ve got plenty of spider plants. What happened?”
The story unfolded… it was below freezing outside, but the heat in the dorms was turned way up. Suffocating in her room, she’d opened the window a crack. No one thought to move the plant on the windowsill. Unfortunately, spider plants aren’t equipped to survive six degree drafts. The poor plant had frozen during the night.
As I potted up another victim, er, spider plant for my daughter, I realized that while our house is full of greenery, I’d never taught our kids how to care for any of it. Here today, and for the next two Fridays, is how to grow a houseplant.