I purchased a mum for my friend. 

Since plant experts say that mums need extra water when putting on buds, I began a deluge.  The mum flourished.  To give it some extra sun, I rested it on the deck rail.  Suddenly, a gust of Kansas wind toppled the flower, breaking stalks, crushing leaves, and bending flowers.  So much for giving my friend a pretty mum.  When I finally saw her, I reluctantly gave her the tattered mum, but not before wrapping it in festive paper. 

As I muse about the mum, I conclude we’re alike.  Parts of me are blooming.  Other parts of me are like buds waiting to open.  And still other parts of me are broken, crushed, and bent, making me lopsided and altering my attractiveness. 

One of the reasons I wanted to give my friend a mum was so she could enjoy its beauty.  So when it became broken and flawed, I added colorful paper to the pot in an attempt to camouflage the damage.    And just as the paper on the flowerpot will eventually be discarded, I too am attempting to cast off my disguises.  My Lord doesn’t want wrappings that distract or hide.  Neither does He desire artificial flowers that appear radiant at a distance, but when examined closely are found to be fake.

I wonder if the purple mum will ever repair itself from the fall, if over time, new shoots will replace broken stems, or if it will always be leaning.  I wonder that about myself as well.  My broken stems can never be reattached, but new ones can thrive in their stead.  Even if like my friend’s flower I stay a little lopsided, I can produce genuine flowers and allow what is unbroken to once more bloom.  

– Deborah Simon