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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

By Dr. James L. Snyder


If you came to our parsonage, you would discover all over our property, plants and flowers. Just don’t ask me to identify what they are. I can tell a plant from a flower, but that’s as far as it goes with me.

That is not true with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. She gets all the credit for all the plants and flowers on our property. She knows them all by name.

Walking up to our house, you will see right next to the door a pineapple plant. I never knew exactly what it was, but my wife kept telling me it was a pineapple. Then this year, the pineapple actually developed.

When she first planted it, she asked me, “Did you see my new plant out front?”

I did not, but I did not want to tell her that I did not.

“Yes, I saw it, and it looks wonderful.” I smiled a very gregarious smile at her.

I thought I was off the hook with that, but guess what? I was not off the hook, because then she said, “What kind of a plant is it?”

“For your information,” she said somewhat sarcastically, “it is a pineapple plant. Why don’t you go out front and look at it?”

I went out, and she followed me to the front to look at the pineapple plant. It was a very profitable session. First, she gave me a very detailed lecture on the pineapple plant, planting it and watering it through the year. Then she told me how long it takes a pineapple to grow to the point of harvesting.

I think she is the Martha Stewart of all things growing outside in our backyard.

The one secret to her plants and flowers is that she talks to them. I didn’t know plants and flowers could hear, but obviously, they do.

Last week it hadn’t rained for days, and I heard her out on the porch saying, “Don’t worry, it will rain very soon. Be ready for it and be patient.”

Evidently, talking to the plants and flowers is very much appreciated by those plants and flowers. I’ve been tempted to go out and talk to them myself, but I was fearful that they would shrink in fear. Then guess who would be in trouble?

It’s pretty evident that I could not take care of plants and flowers as she does. Probably none of them would survive. Those plants and flowers ought to be quite thankful that I am not the one taking care of them. They ought to be thankful for the expert with a wonderful green thumb and not the one with the black and blue thumb.

Even though I can’t take care of them, I can appreciate them. Also, I can appreciate the one who does all the work to make them look as good as they do.

Sitting on the back porch drinking some coffee and looking at the flowers, I thought of the wonderful verse in the Bible. “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

Relationships are not built upon having the same qualities. Rather, it is appreciating our differences that pull us together and enable us to do what God wants us to do.


Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34472, where he lives with his wife. Call him at 352-216-3025 or e-mail jamessnyder51@gmail.com. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.