It's dead! With the flag sticking out of it, you'd think it died an honorable death...but it didn't. It died from lack of water. You would expect that kind of death for a plant growing in the desert, a barren and dry place, but this one died right here on my front porch just steps away from the end of a hose. It's hanging in a place I walk by every day. How could I not see it turn brown and wither from neglect? If I had only noticed it in time, maybe I could have saved it. I can't help but wonder how long it's been hanging there in need of a burial. The flag poking up out of the dry ground is a clue...could it have been that way since the fourth of July? That's a little embarrassing!
It reminded me of something that happened at church. I realized I hadn't seen someone for quite a while, and then found out they weren't attending there anymore. How long had it been since I saw them? I couldn't remember. In a way, the same thing that happened to my plant can happen to people in the church. We pass by each other every Sunday as we come and go, we sit by people regularly in church service or at Bible study, without even noticing they look a little dry or withered emotionally. Instead of water, maybe they're in need of a hug or thirsty for encouragement. Maybe they're hurting or lonely and need someone to notice and pour a few refreshing drops of love into their lives. It could mean the difference between them growing healthy in the body of Christ or withering away - alone.
All I had to do to keep my plant from dying was notice it and give it a little water now and then. It's really not that much different with people is it? All we need to do is notice each other and pour a little love into one another's lives now and then. We don't even have to get the hose, because God has given us a spring of living water through His Son Jesus Christ, and the only thing we have to do is reach out and share it. Is there anyone in your life who could use a little water? When we go to church, or anywhere for that matter, let's look around and notice if the people we pass by or sit next to are looking a little dry. If they are, let's pour some love out on them. If you can't tell whether they need it...sprinkle them anyway. I think in this case, it's better to over water!
And above all things have fervent love for one another,
for "love will cover a multitude of sins."