One of the gifts my parents gave me is a love and respect for God’s creation. My parents were farmers for many years, so taking care of the earth was a natural part of their lives and they passed the love of nature on to me. When I spent quality time with dad we either seemed to be on the lake or in the woods. Mom, on the other hand, was all about plants, so in the summer I would naturally get “talked into” planting and weeding and working in the garden. The smell of geraniums and tomato plants immediately brings Mom to mind. Now, many years later, I love to garden and get my hands in the dirt. There is something about gardening that is healing somehow…or perhaps I feel connected to something larger. I don’t claim to be all that good at gardening, but I love plants and taking care of them. I have a soft spot for the ones that need some TLC. When I see the distressed plant rack at Lowe’s my heart goes out and I have to try and do something. I can’t begin to tell you how many hopeless plants I’ve tried to rescue. About six weeks ago, I was at Lowe’s and I saw this really scraggly, torn up, and soon-to-be-thrown-in-the-trash Canna Lily. It was pitiful. (My mind flashed to that scene in a “Charlie Brown Christmas” where Linus found a Christmas tree with 3 branches on it.) I don’t have much knowledge of Canna lilies or how to care for them, but I thought I’d give it a try. I took it home, found what I thought was a suitable place, planted and watered it, spoke to it kindly and said a prayer over it as I welcomed it to my garden. About that time, life got very busy with my daughter’s graduation, her wedding, her reception here at KBC, preparations for YouthCUE and the 140th anniversary celebration, so I forgot about my new plant friend for awhile. One day recently, I went into the backyard and spotted an orange flower at eye level where there shouldn’t have been one and my heart almost stopped. The Canna lily had grown like Jack’s beanstalk; and even better, it displayed the most beautiful flower. I was amazed. Some thoughts come to mind, but mostly what needs to be said is that there are a lot of people in the world like that little lily. It is up to us to look out for those around us who need a kind word, or a healing touch. Who knows what beautiful thing might emerge in our world with a little bit of tender loving care?