Dead Boxwood and Tended Holly

I’ve never been much of a mall shopper, BUT I have thoroughly enjoyed our Augusta Mall since it’s renovation. We have a Coldwater Creek women’s clothing store!  And a Williams-Sonoma Kitchen store! A Sephora!! And even an Apple store!!!  Yes!!  Summer piggies at the fountainI always park at the lifestyle center end of the mall. I enjoy the new entrance with its welcoming atmosphere.  I don’t mind walking a longer distance to enter the mall this way.  I enjoy window shopping and finding great bargains.  I enjoy eating in the food court.  I love, love, love to shop with Glory.  I’ve even enjoyed shopping for clothes, probably because I’m finding clothes compliment my figure rather than  fight it since I’ve lost weight. In fact, Glory and I easily share clothes now!!  What a treat! My accessible wardrobe has doubled since dropping pounds!

The renovation of the mall took quite some time.  The grand opening of the new design opened last year around the first of November.  This renovation cost TENS of MILLIONS of dollars.  I can’t find a cost quoted anywhere in print, but estimates are near $65 million dollars. I’ll be honest with you:  I can’t quite grasp that sum of money. What I can grasp is that millions of dollars is a tremendous amount.

With all that money being poured into the planning and execution of a renovation, here is what struck me this past spring.

These concrete planters weigh hundreds of pounds.  They can cost more than a thousand of dollars.   I expect that the cost of the planter, the soil and boxwood together exceeds two thousand dollars.  These planters are scattered all around the new end of the mall.

Keep in mind: boxwood are pretty hard to kill. They are hearty, ever-green plants. They do not drop their leaves.  But, these did.  All of them.
These boxwood were not cared for and they died.
Surely, they died from dehydration.

Each time I would visit the mall,
I would wonder
“Has anyone that works here noticed these lives
shriveling, wilting, wasting away?”
Wasn’t there someone who was in charge of landscaping
and caring for the plants?
Was anyone put in charge of these plants to make sure that they were
properly tended?

Like Jesus spoke in parables, paralleling the spiritual and physical worlds, God convicts and teaches me through similar daily events.

Each time I would walk by them,
I saw that parallel ….
the physical and the spiritual ….
the parallel that I look for …
that I ask my Heavenly Father to show me….
the analogous picture of
where we live –
the .. tangible … palpable world
and who we are –
the ethereal … untouchable, spiritual world.

Not so many weeks ago, I noticed new life in the urns of cement.
I noticed them while I was still at a distance.
And could see just as clearly
that care had been taken to make sure that this new vegetation
would make it …
it was tended and
would thrive.

Having watched the skeletons of old life stand tall in dry soil for months,
I was thankful to see a new watering system was put into place at each pot
for the new flora.
Do you see the hose that encircles the base of plant?
Sweet, life-giving water!

And look!  The pine bark mulch on top looks dry,
but beneath the surface, the soil is moist and rich.
Yes, these holly will have a much better chance for
surviving ….
…. thriving
than the neglected boxwood of last year.

I, too, was bought with a price….
one too large for me to fathom …
too great for me to understand.

He has provided the Living Water of Christ
a spirit that will keep my spirit hydrated and healthy.
I don’t understand it
but I know that it is true
because I have read about it
and I experience it.
I have lived portions of my life
a skeleton standing in dry soil
but know that I hold the handle in my hand….

I can reach out for help.
I can reach up.
I can reach over and open my Bible.

Or I can stand
crisp and brittle.

I thanked God for yet another snapshot through the viewfinder of His camera.
He teaches me, talks to me, leads me, guides me.
He protects me, nurtures me and waters my soil.
He shows me pictures of who He is
and who I am
in this wonderful world …
intricate, elaborate and ornate
physically and spiritually.

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