Monday, March 01, 2010

Lazarus and Houdini

I have two plants.  They are very special plants and even have names.  Lazarus came to school with me in August.  He got frostbite from the air conditioner on the way down, but recovered relatively quickly.  Lazarus is a special plant because he is very resilient.  I knew that when I brought him down here.  What I didn't know was how resilient he was. 
When it was time to go home for Christmas I made arrangements for Lazarus to stay with a friend for Christmas.  It seemed safer than trying to bring him home on the bus and back again. Unfortunetely for Lazarus, the day that he moved, it was minus a bajillion degrees out and in the walk from the dorm to the car and the car to the house, he froze.  My friend made a valient attempt to preserve him, but two weeks into break she emailed me and informed me that he was indeed dead.  I was sad, but asked her to hang onto the pot so I could plant something new in it. She tucked it away in a safe place and forgot about it. Shortly after arriving back on campus (4 weeks after he had froze) I got another message from her.  Lazarus had leaves again!  She brought him out of hiding and started watering him again.  I was happy.  Then, a short time later I got another message.  The cats had gotten Lazarus.  There were no more leaves and his stem was in two pieces.  He was most definetely dead.  Last week or so I finally got over to her house and I picked up my pot with the remains of Lazarus in them.  He most definetely looked dead.  I watered him anyways.  This is a picture of Lazarus this morning:
They are tiny, but they are leaves.  Not only are they leaves on the main stem, but there are also leaves on the stem portion that the cats had broken off!  Lazarus is alive!
That brings us to Houdini...When I learned that Lazarus was dead and that I was being driven back to school instead of taking the bus, I took a cutting from Lazarus's parent plant and tried to bring it back with me.  However, transferring a fresh cutting, in sub-freezing weather, for 14 hours, is not a wise idea.  When Houdini arrived at school he looked more dead than alive.  However, being from the same stock as Lazarus he pulled through and for awhile was looking almost healthy.  Then I knocked him off the fridge and he landed upside down on the floor.  The one leaf that he had left withered and he looked dead.  But since I was watering the dead looking Lazarus, and Houdini didn't look quite as dead as Lazarus, I watered him as well.  Here is Houdini this morning:
That is indeed a shoot of green sticking out of the dirt.  Houdini is alive!

Houdini and Lazarus and their stories give me hope.  They both looked quite dead and some had even given up hope.  However, under the deadness, there was life, and life was persevering.  It gives me hope for two reasons. 
Reason 1:  Spring is coming!  There will be new life.  Yes is it snowy and cold outside.  Yes everything out there looks dead.  But under the deadness, there is life and life will persevere!
Reason 2:  I have awesome friends who sing me songs.  Last night a friend was singing me "Jesus Paid it All"  The bridge in that song is: "Oh, praise the One who paid my debt, And raised this life up from the dead."   Wah-pow!  If a lowly plant can come back to life after being dead, how much more is my life worth?  It's worth so much, so very much, that Christ paid my debt, (all of it!) and raised my life up from the dead!   I could back this up with countless Scriptures, but I'll just stick to three: 
Romans 5:8 "But G-d demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." 
Ephesians 2:4-5 "But because of his great love for us, G-d, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved."  
Colossians 2:13 "When you were dead in your sinse...G-d made you alive with Christ.  He forgave us all our sins" 

I was dead, with no hope of life, but Christ took me, in all my deadness, and gave me new life.  Praise the Lord!

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