In my office of many leather bound books that smell of rich mahogany, sits one tiny bamboo plant. Why wife bought it for me earlier in the year as a way to spruce up the room. It added a nice touch of green, and I’ve really come to enjoy it.
But a few weeks ago I had set it outside to get some afternoon sun and then accidentally left it outside over night. I woke up in the morning, went to go grab the plant, and realized that it was covered in snow.
Now, a few months later, there sits a shriveled and dead bamboo plant on my desk. It’s unsightly, brown, and wilted.
This morning, my daughter notices the plant and asks why it looks so sad, and after explaining the story she looks at it for a few quick seconds and then says, “That’s OK, God can heal it.”
My immediate reaction was to laugh it off, “Sure thing baby, God will bring my dead plant back to life.” insert smug laughter here.
But the more I thought about that statement, the more I heard God prompting me towards thoughts of him.
Will God cure my dead bamboo plant? I dunno, probably not (though that would be the sweetest story if he did). But what that conversation reminded me is that I serve a God that can do anything. It’s more than verbal mutterings during a sermon, more than words on a page, and more than a cool story; it is the power of the creating and resurrecting God that is at work in our world. It’s about more than the status of the bamboo plant, it’s about the status of my heart and the way I see God working in those around me.
Over the last two of years, I’ve been to the doctors more than the entirety of the rest of my life. I’m not old by any means, but I can already tell you that a twenty-eight year old body doesn’t respond to late night pizza like an eighteen year old body. After more than two cookies and I start to feel sick, which is a far cry from the sixteen year old version of me that once proudly downed fourteen Krispy Kreme donuts in one sitting. There have been times where I’ve wondered why my body was falling apart and I’ve come to expect it to start to fail me. I’ve seen my body hurt and ache in new ways and feared what was next, and truth be told, the fear has been crippling at times. I’m not as fast, agile, or quick to recover as I once was. But my daughter served as a reminder of the ways in which God can work in, through, and sometimes despite my condition (either physically or in my heart).
It was also a great reminder of the type of God that I serve. Working in an impoverished area of Denver, it’s easy for me to see piles and piles of needs, and lose track of the hope that exists. I tend to focus on the problems and not on the progress. I see hurting and broken people, dead like my plant, and find it easy to dismiss or think less of them. Yet the wisdom of my four year old challenges this: nothing is beyond redemption, salvation, or new life when God is at work, if only we have eyes to see and faith to believe.