My First Orchid by Cheryce Berg

Sometimes, especially in January, I see more death than life. What is supposed to be new looks old. I think New Year’s resolutions would fare better if made in May or even June.

Last June, I received the gift of my first orchid. It stood poised like a bride on my kitchen table for months, beautiful and motionless. I resolved to keep it alive, unlike every other living thing I’ve ever owned, except for children.

All I was told was to feed it two ice cubes every Sunday morning, the first day of each new week. The day we celebrate the resurrection of Christ.

Months went by before a petal dropped. Then another. My neighbor told me to be patient; the blooms would return when they were spent. Even if they didn’t, I was proud of my first orchid’s endurance and my accomplishment. But guess what?

Today it blooms again, even though it is January. And the blooms are the colors of bridesmaids’ dresses.

Out of curiosity, I recently looked up the care of orchids. A true gardener would be floored by my neglect in parenting these rather tender plants. The experts say to remove and re-pot, to fertilize and fan, to mist and move, to protect and prune. I have done none of those things.

The whole watching and waiting and releasing and rejoicing reminds me of Christ. How he lived and then died and then resurrected. How it is not by what I have done or can do that I am saved. It is by grace alone.

How because of it all, what is dead in me and around me is given the promise of hope and new life. How I shouldn’t stop watching and waiting for salvation—the salvation of my friend who gave me my first orchid last June, the season when what appears dead becomes alive.

Below is Cheryce's orchid in all its bridemaids glory.