Two Mint Plants

2 small mint plants

When I was a child my mother added a small spearmint plant to our garden. It was such a hardy plant and grew abundantly. It grew tall stalks. Its roots spread out and more stalks grew. If we let it, it would have taken over our whole garden.

All summer long we cut sprigs to flavor our iced tea and to give to friends and neighbors who also liked it. In the Fall is would shrivel and die and in the winter it would have snow piled deep on top of it. But when Spring came, it would always wake from its slumber and begin to send up bright green shoots.

Mint didn’t hide in our garden. Even when we were indoors and couldn’t see the plant, with a little breeze we could smell its lovely fragrance. I always loved our spearmint plant.

A few months ago, we found a small spearmint plant for sale. It reminded me of home, so I bought it. I don’t have a garden space, so I kept it in a pot on my back porch. It was growing such long spears that I kept cutting some every day. I couldn’t use it fast enough and I hated to throw away the long pieces I couldn’t use, so I put them in water. They grew tiny, fragile looking roots. When they were too big to keep in the little rooting jar, I planted them in another pot. I became quite attached to these two fragrant, green plants.

In my cool, rainy hometown, spearmint grew without a care. In pots, the hot tropical weather meant my spearmint needed to be watered every day. Sometimes rain comes from the right direction and my plants were watered by rain, but most days I needed to give them a cool drink.

When we were making a week long trip away from home I took my two spearmint plants down to my friend’s garden so they would get the nearly daily rain without anyone needing to tend to them.

Last night I got a message from my friend asking if I had come home early and collected my plants. No, I had not gotten my plants. Out of her whole garden there were only two plants missing. . .my two spearmint plants. I groaned. I was sad they were gone.

They weren’t valuable plants like old bonsai trees. They weren’t rare or unusual plants. Whoever took them, could have bought some from a garden shop inexpensively. But they had meaning to me and were worth more than their monetary value.

My first reaction was to be angry at the thief. Then I thought, their need must have been very great to steal a couple spearmint plants. Maybe they have never had anyone pray for them before. I pray that they will somehow meet Jesus through those plants.

God cares about us, even those of us who feel like we’re just garden-variety. The fragrance of His life in us can draw others to God. Be a loved fragrant herb and bring real joy to those around you today.

2Co 2:15-16 “For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. “

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Trapped!

This afternoon we stopped at a tea shop high in the Malaysian mountains. The shop was closed, but they had a lovely terrace overlooking a tea plantation and some greenhouse buildings. We took some pictures and were enjoying the cool breeze and sunshine.

I went to a far corner of the terrace and saw a mynah bird hanging upside down from a potted plant. I thought, ‘Ugh, what kind of weird decoration is this?’
Snared Bird
I called Mike over and he said, ‘It’s alive!’ When I looked again I could see it move. On closer inspection we saw that both its feet were wrapped with a string around a branch. How it must have struggled only to be more and more tied up!  He definitely needed help or he would die. We had no knife to cut the string. Mike tried using a key to slide the string over his claws. Nothing was working and the poor bird was screaming like a crow.

We found a gardener nearby and pointed out the bird’s predicament. He went immediately and gently held the bird with one hand as he carefully picked the string with a pen knife. The bird kept screaming, but the gardener held it securely until every bit of the string was removed from both feet. When no string remained, he held the bird up and opened his hand. That unfettered bird flew at top speed with not even the slightest backwards glance.

We went away with a warm glow knowing one of God’s creatures was now safe. Mike said, ‘What a tale he will have to tell his family tonight!’

Psalms 124:7 – “We have escaped like a bird  from the snare of the fowlers;  the snare is broken,  and we have escaped!”

How gently, but securely our Gardener holds us while he cuts us free of the fetters that kept us captive. We may yell and squirm, but He knows for our good He cannot let us go too soon.

He has a plan for good and not for evil, but we have to be set free from our snares first.

Have we seen someone caught in a snare, maybe even of their own doing? God may be asking us to help hold them, while He untangles them?

How gently and how securely we may hold that loved one or stranger in prayer and in friendship until God sets them free.

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