Monday, June 24, 2013


I'm a houseplant killer. Not intentionally, of course. It just seems that entering our home inevitably brings a death sentence to plants of all kinds. It’s only a matter of time.

I happened to mention this during my final speaking session at a recent weekend women’s retreat. “The only plants I raise are silk,” I said. “My youngest daughter recently killed a cactus. She says she inherited my genes.”

Everyone laughed. I had no way of knowing that the planning committee intended to give me a potted lily as a thank-you gift when that session ended. Oops.

When the presentation time came, one woman carried the lily toward me. She looked very apologetic. “I’m sorry,” she said. “Until this morning, we didn’t know you kill plants. I’m not sure what you want to do with this now.”

Seventy women watched my response. Awkward. How could I graciously receive such a gift after declaring this poor plant’s certain fate? And so I blurted the first words that came to mind: “I appreciate your thoughtfulness, but how about we do a door prize and give it to someone who will provide a good home?” Everyone laughed again, and then a name was drawn.

The winner approached me a few minutes later, lily in hand. She was a gal who’d recently completed an addiction recovery program and had just moved into a house on her own. “Thank you,” she said. “I have no decorations for my home, and I’ve been praying for a plant. This lily, to me, signifies a new beginning. It’s perfect.”

Who would have known this woman had been praying for a plant? Not I. Likely no one else in the room knew, either. But God did. I believe He directed me to speak those impromptu words about being a plant killer. In retrospect, I don’t even recall how they fit into my presentation. They just popped out. By divine design. I’ll forever treasure the moment when the lily winner approached me with prize in hand. Her eyes glowed, and her face reflected hope.

God delights in His children (2 Samuel 22:20). He lavishes love on those whose hearts belong to Him. His means are multiple. Sometimes He does so through timely kind words spoken by a friend or stranger. Sometimes through a song or an answered prayer. And sometimes through blurted words and a plant.

One never knows how God will reveal His love, especially in unexpected little ways. But of this one thing we’re certain—He delights in us and longs for us to understand how much.

Grace Fox is the author of several books including Peaceful Moments to Begin Your Day: Devotions for Busy Women

and Moving from Fear to Freedom: A Woman’s Guide to Peace in Every Situation

Visit Grace's website to learn more about her speaking ministry.

Twitter: gracelfox

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