Rob's Dodo Bird smallerMy gift for growing things, especially African Violets, is a true blessing, especially on the days when I feel low, am experiencing a lot of pain, and just need to cocoon. I’m also finding some important lessons from my plants, and one that I learned recently is quite, well, illuminating (pardon the pun!).

Turns out that one of the best ways to bring out the beauty of variegated foliage (leaves that have green, cream, white, and even pink coloring) is to put the plant in a dark place for several days! Yes, darkness can coax great – and vastly enjoyable – beauty out of an otherwise ordinary plant!

Isn’t it the same for us, too? We face so many challenges each day, many of which would ordinarily make us quite despondent. But when we approach these tough times with faith and keep God’s love foremost in our hearts, we soon see that even the darkest ordeal has glimmers of beautiful, uplifting light. A kind stranger. A turn for the better in our condition. An insight into Scripture or other aspect of our deep spiritual underpinnings. Even the taste of a savory or sweet food that makes us think, “Yum!” instead of “Yuk!” All of these and more are not confined to only the better times – we can experience them at all times, if we seek them out.

The picture above is of one of my plants that recently won a blue ribbon – and a prize for its varieagated folidage. It was a wonderful boost to my spirit to see this little plant on the “big” award table. And that boost, added to the many blessings that come even with the pain, remind me each day that God is awesome – and even darkness can bring light!

Joy and peace,


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