Why I’m Thankful for Office Plants



by
Nov 27, 2013

It may not look like it, but this little plant is a good lesson about stewardship.

My colleague, Christie Getman, gave it to me. We’d had a conversation quite some time ago about how I seem to kill anything green that comes under my custody. She remembered the conversation and saved me a clipping from one of the plants that sits in her office.

She took the time to explain to me how to care for the plant, advising me to water it when the soil seems dry and to rotate it because this particular plant breed tends to grow in the direction of sunlight.

And so with tentative enthusiasm I took the plant back to my desk, hoping for the best. One morning Christie passed by and saw that my plant seemed to be wilting. I hung my head low as she checked it and, sure enough, the soil was dry as a bone! She advised me to keep the plant in a location where I could see it better and showed me the signs that it was in trouble.

From this small, kind act I recognize two things. First, we are all stewards of God’s creation, called to care for our world (“The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it.” Psalm 24:1). Nothing makes me more cognizant of that fact than trying to keep a plant alive! But it also makes me very aware of how I use my resources: my water, electricity, gas, heat, everything. This little plant gave me pause to think about what kind of steward I am of my resources and how I can work to become a better one.

But as I began to write this very blog post, it occurred to me that the same kind of helping hand Christie gave me in keeping my purely ornamental plant alive is the kind of help we work to bring to rural communities around the world.

Partner staff in India showing plant nursery.

Santosh, a staff member from LWR’s partner PRADAN, in India, explains to LWR staff member Subhashis Roy the various kinds of vegetables grown in a plant nursery that’s part of a vegetable growing project for women farmers.

With your support we conduct trainings on agricultural techniques. We build nurseries and demonstration plots. We provide experts who can give advice on how to yield greater quantities of high quality crops that farmers can use to provide for their families and improve their lives.

Just as caring for this little plant makes me feel like I’m learning to be a better steward of God’s gifts, your support of LWR, through which we are able to provide this critical support, helps you to become better stewards as well.

For this reason, I’m very thankful for this little plant and all that it represents. I am thankful for Christie, for coaching me (and thereby keeping my little plant alive). I am thankful for our expert staff around the world who work with rural communities to improve the way they grow crops. And I am thankful for you, for supporting this work with your gifts and prayers.

is Lutheran World Relief's Staff Writer

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