As of Mother’s Day, 2013, we added a new addition to the Jordan household. Her name is Flora, and she is a houseplant. She came to us in a pot with a handle saying “Welcome” to all who see her. She was arrayed with little red blossoms and rich green leaves. I personally thought she would love intense sunshine like all of us Jordans do. She did at first, but by the end of the day, her very first day alone at home on the front porch in direct sunlight, she responded by looking as if she were saying good-bye forever. All of the life had gone out of her leaves, blossoms began to fall off. It was obvious she wasn’t long for this world.
This wasn’t the first time I had seen something like this. I have lost many plants in my lifetime. Fortunately, I remembered a study that had been done, and I decided to test the theory. “According to Penn State University, the theory that plants can actually benefit from humans talking to them was first published in a book from 1848, written by a German professor named Gustav Fechner. Since those early days, many more books have been written about the idea of plants responding to sound stimuli. In fact, in 1970 a dentist recorded an album specifically meant to be played for flowers and plants!” What did we have to lose? I began to talk to her. That’s when she got the name, Flora. Do you know that within the next six hours or so, she was flourishing like a palm tree (Psalm 92:12). She looked, and obviously felt marvelous! Perhaps I should mention that along with some friendly conversation, she received a nice full glass of water. We continued our research and continued talking to her daily (and watering her) and do you know whenever she looked wilted as she sometimes did, it only took some kind words and one glass of water and everything changed. Each time, she perked right up as if all she needed to thrive was a kind word (and a glass of water.)
Sometimes, that’s just what I need, too. Just please someone give me a glass of water (and some kind words.) Tell me I’m doing a good job, I’m helping you somehow, I did a great job raising my children, or you appreciate something I did. I’m often just thirsty for a kind word and encouragement. And if no one else provides it, I can find a way to encourage myself.
The most interesting part of our study proved to be the rapidity of the change in Flora. It was noted that sometimes within an hour or less of receiving kind words (and a glass of water) her countenance, her leaves, the feel of the dirt beneath her changed dramatically. Everything changed just that quick.
There is, as you see, conclusive evidence that kind words, appreciation, water, all produce rapid positive changes. Things can look alarmingly bleak, and in just the smallest amount of time, everything changes. Remember that as you start your day. It may be cloudy, and the next instant the sun shines. You may be feeling sick, and shortly, you feel better. You may be unhappy, moments pass, and you are happy again. And it only takes a glass of water and some kind words.
And should you give a glass of water to any wilting plants you might see today? Only if you want to see them flourish “like a palm tree.”
Jesus said, in Matthew 25:34-40,” Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in, naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”