I haven’t been feeling quite myself for the past few weeks. I’m still functioning pretty well, but had been missing the joy that usually permeates through all of me. There’ve been so many deaths of late or anniversaries of deaths of important people in my life, so I’ve been a little out of it. As a result, I haven’t been connecting with the things and people that are important to me.
In August 2016 when I returned to work after Tim’s death my friend Sam gave me a plant for my desk which I treasured!! Then this past Monday I arrived at work and the plant was totally withered!! I thought it was dead and I was devastated! I ran to get some water and poured it into the plant praying that it would come back to life!! Why had I neglected this plant that I love?? It doesn’t take any time to put some water into a pot!!
By Tuesday the plant was a little less withered but none of the leaves were standing tall as they always had. I kept praying. But I also thought about some of the other things I’d been neglecting of late. Friends and family I haven’t chatted with, and people I love that I haven’t seen lately. Don’t my relationships need nurturing too, just like my plant that I had neglected to water until it maybe was too late?? Would my relationships die too? I reached out to a couple of people I had been neglecting but definitely didn’t get to everyone.
Finally by Thursday I had some hope that my work plant was going to live!! Some bright green leaves started to appear and I was so relieved!! Then I headed on Friday to Waukegan, IL to give a presentation on Saturday! I stayed with my friends Chris and Denny who had hosted me in their home last year as well! I am glad it’s a relationship I had nurtured and our friendship picked right up where it had left off last year!
The site of the Saturday event was Shiloh Baptist Church. Two members of the church, Pat and her husband Jared joined me, Chris and Denny for dinner on Friday night and shared with me the story of the ministry of opening the church for the homeless to give them a place to sleep and a hot meal and even bag lunch to go the following day. Pat and her church kitchen staff do this every Wednesday between October and May. Other local churches fill in the other days of the week. I learned so much during that dinner about community and nurturing what’s important even with people who are different from us. I shared with them that there is a ministry at our church that feeds the homeless every Sunday night, though I haven’t personally participated in it.
I believe my work plant will survive my neglect and I’m sad that I couldn’t even remember the last time I had watered it prior to it almost withering away. What I learned from this week is that EVERYTHING that lives needs to be nurtured, our personal relationships included. If we neglect them long enough they just might die!! If we’re in a relationship and you haven’t heard from me in a bit, know that I love you and I’m sorry I haven’t been as connected as I should have been. My relationships are life-giving to me and I don’t want them to die. I’ll be focused this week on nurturing some of my relationships that need a little “water” in order to live. I’ll be excited to see green buds reappear in my relationships just as they are in my plant. I hope you’re excited about the upcoming week too! Are there areas and relationships you need to nurture in your life?? If so, there’s no better time than the present!