Growing Together (Literally!!)

garden last

Our eldest daughter, Jessica, lives with her family in southern California.  That, in itself, conjures up pictures of palm trees (which, she informs me, are not endemic to the area, and are sucking up the much-needed water in the currently drought-stricken area), and movie stars, (which ARE endemic to area, editorial comments notwithstanding…)  What is able to grow there, seemingly with little effort, is the aloe vera plant.  On one of our walks with that b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l granddaughter of mine, Jessie pointed out a particular aloe specimen she thought very poignant.

In looking closely at the plant, you’ll notice that some of the leaves/branches are actually fused together (photo #3).  My daughter says this happens because the leaves are so tightly packed next to each other as they are unfurling in the early stages, that they just don’t separate as they mature.  And she thought that was a pretty cool analogy.

So do I…

Just think what could happen if, as people of Christ, we allowed that kind of bonding from being so packed into each others’ lives and circumstances, in healthy ways of course (proper boundaries and all that), think what kind of impact that could have, not only on our own individual lives, but on society as a whole.  Look again how BIG that one leaf is–there’s got to be a boatload of aloe vera juice in there that could cover a pretty nasty sunburn!

And clearly, there is a large quantity of “burned” people (Christians included) who need this “oil of joy for mourning” as one Old Testament writer put it.  Yeah, they certainly had their share of church pain back then as well.  Fast-forward to the New Testament church, and their concept of “koinonia”, which is explained by that unimpeachable repository of information known as Wikipedia:

“The essential meaning of the koinonia embraces concepts conveyed in the English terms community, communion, joint participation, sharing and intimacy. Koinonia can therefore refer in some contexts to a jointly contributed gift.[1] The word appears 19 times in most editions of the Greek New Testament. In the New American Standard Bible, it is translated “fellowship” twelve times, “sharing” three times, and “participation” and “contribution” twice each.”

Since this was obviously a very important concept to them, I offer a challenge for us all to ask God to plant and unfurl us  in the place of His own special choosing, so that we can grow together into an effectual “specimen”, breaking us open, and letting the healing juice pour out where it’s needed.

Even in places of drought, as only He can.

Thanks for the lesson, Jess!

Author: dawnlizjones

Tends toward TMI, so here's the short list: guitar and banjo (both of which have been much neglected as of late), bicycling (ibid), dogs, very black tea, and contemplating and commenting on deep philosophical thoughts about which I have had no academic or professional training. Oh, also reading, writing, but I shy away from arithmetic.

6 thoughts on “Growing Together (Literally!!)”

  1. It’s remarkable to see how Creation adapts to changes in the environment such as drought and excess water. You can definitely see God’s hands at work throughout the ages in respect to His Creation, mankind being no exception.
    You can see the change in His Church over the years if you’re one that likes to study scripture. The Church was much more fervent back in the day that Peter preached at Pentecost and the first churches were formed. True, they were just getting “rules” established, but those were some faithful believers. True, they came about shortly after Christ’s crucifixion and were on fire for the gospel — but if you think about it, we have the same thing they did after Christ’s ascension… God’s Holy Spirit, alive and living within each of us.
    Jesus told His disciples that he would be going back from where He came, but not to worry, that God would send the Comforter to them and all who believe. The Comforter would show them things they do not know and they would come to understand things they do not understand. They would do things even greater than Christ, He told them.
    That goes for all of us – His chosen, but we MUST believe and have faith in His Spirit within us. We must learn to listen, and hear, God’s small, still voice speaking to us, and be obedient to Him.
    We are one body, with many parts, and each part must do what God has called it to do rather than trying to do the part of another. Every part is equally important, none is greater than another, and it’s only when we’re doing what God called us to do in the body that the body works AS a body. I’ve seen this be a formidable task in many churches — I would only guess that “self” gets in the way too often…
    Your challenge — I LOVE it!! I’m all in. How are you going to spread the challenge?
    Sorry about the lengthy discourse… I do tend to talk too much!!!
    I do so enjoy your writing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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