My pitiful poinsettia

Published 8:54 am Wednesday, December 17, 2014

God speaks to all of us whether we care to listen or not. And I, on some days, hear more clearly than at other times. Thankfully, today is one of those good days.

I was born on a brisk December evening a long time ago — 57 years, give or take a few days.

The Christmas holidays have always been special to me. I was born into a large family to parents who were ill much of the time. Times were hard, and our holidays were sparse. On many occasions, I suspect, there would have been no toys under our tree is not for the love of an aunt who faithfully did her best to make our Christmas merry year after year.

This probably explains why I love all the jingle and sparkle of the season. Don’t misunderstand — I know Christmas is about celebrating Christ and his birth, but little kids sure enjoy the Santa experience. If done properly, it can help convey Christ’s love.

Anywho…I love Christmas! The carols, the bells, the decorating, the parties, all of it! I bought several poinsettias, and I have had a heck of a time trying to keep them alive until the family Christmas party that Mike and I are hosting.

As I watered them and let them dry out, kept them out of a draft, gave them more sun, went back to the nursery for advice and on and on, I realized that our relationships are like plants. Some need more attention than others. Some have been hurt by too much of this or too little of that. They all need care to thrive.

But plants, like the ones we do life with, respond to love and prayer. Yes! I said it, prayer. I have to admit I paused for a moment before praying for a plant, but I remembered how much Jesus cares for each of us. I thought about His first miracle of turning water into wine for a party at His mom’s request. Next I thought, “Just maybe He cares about my Christmas party and my poinsettia.”

I was at my wit’s end when I resorted to prayer for a plant… “God, You know it’s important to me for everything to look nice for the party. You can do anything. Please bring my pitiful poinsettia back to life.”

Things looked rough. When I thought I saw a little sign of life Mike said, “I don’t know, I think it may be too far gone.” But I kept on watering it when the soil got dry and praying it would revive. Today, on my birthday, my plant is definitely on the upswing!!

Amazing things happen when we pray.

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at