Curious to know what kind of plant it was and whether it was a flowering vine, I searched around on wikipedia and found a photograph of a plant that looked identical to mine: it was a morning glory. I was thrilled to know the identity of my creeping vine and couldn't wait to see it bloom :)
One Sunday afternoon, I got a milkshake and sat outside my front door with the creeping vine to enjoy the cool breeze and summer sunshine. I noticed some holes in the lower leaves. Then I spied the cause: two golden beetles. I was tempted to flick them off my nice morning glory leaves, but since they glimmered like pyrite, I decided to let them be. They would probably just fly back if I tried to chase them off. Or there were doubtless more of them about the brick planter box. Sighing over the beetles, I saw another bug creeping amidst the plants - a ladybug. Ah, how nice!
When my family and I returned from PA on Memorial Day, we found that the creeping vine had spread out blooms. They were twisted closed like umbrellas, but we were eager to see them open the next morning. Stepping out onto the brick the next morning, we were greeted by a couple opened flowers. They were a rich purple color with maroon stripes that radiated from the center. So pretty! When I returned that evening, they were closed up just like the night before. And so they bloomed - opening like trumpets in the morning and drawing closed like tightened pinwheels by evening.
Morning glories, with the morning rain upon their petals.
Yesterday morning, I was nearly running late for work. A few steps down the court, I thought about going back for my camera to take some photos of the morning glories because they looked absolutely radiant in their kingly robes. But I didn't want to be late for work, so I promised myself that I would take the camera with me tomorrow to get photos of the morning glories and some other cute orange daisy-like flowers (zinnia) outside work. When I got home yesterday afternoon, I saw my neighbor's morning glories looking quite wilted. Odd, I thought! And mine were wilted, too! It looked as if a 110 degree sun had beat on them all day without mercy. But the day had been very cool. Then I looked and saw that all of my vines were torn off at the bottom of the step. Being cut off from food and water, they had wilted up, their flowers had shriveled up, and their vine branches were already stiff and dead.
Oh, my morning glories!
My beautiful flowers are all gone!
I was very saddened by the death of my morning glory. But looking over the sorrowful plant, I found a bloom that still looked like it had some life in it. Perhaps one flower can be saved, I thought to myself. So, I snatched it from the dying vine and carefully placed it in a cup of water on the window sill that overlooks the steps. Standing in front of it, I prayed that God might spare this one to bloom in the morning. Considering the fact that so much of the plant was in such a poor state, I didn't have any logical reason to believe that it would survive the night in a cup of the scary city-water that came from the faucet; but, I wasn't going to doubt the power of the Creator, either. I spent the evening reading, munching on cheese and crackers, and poking at the phone and email.
This morning when my alarm went off, I remembered the flower downstairs... I swung myself out of bed and went down to take a look, avoiding the crushed multi-legged bug on the steps where I attacked it the night before.
And there was the morning glory singing praises to God! :) I felt like singing, too! The remnant has been preserved (2 Kings 19:30)! Out of death, life has sprung (Numbers 17)!
I learned quite a few things from my experience with the morning glory. Here are some of them:
1. If I ever feel the urge to take a photo, I will not put it off till "tomorrow." For tomorrow may not come. This lesson can of course be expanded to other more significant activities, such as showing love towards my neighbor.
2. Without being rooted in the vine (John 15), life is immediately cut off and the vine's branches die very quickly. I need to be on my guard to stay rooted in Christ if I want to enjoy life abundant and bear fruit to His glory.
3. When I was cut off from life by my sin, it was only a matter of time before I died. But the Lord gently picked me up and grafted me into the true vine so I would not die. He adopted me and tenderly cultivated me as his own flower to bring him glory ♥ God is good.
4. If the loss of my morning glories made me this sorrowful, how sorrowful it is to lose a soul. No wonder all the courts of heaven ring with celebration when one lost sinner is saved and brought in to the family of God.
5. I want to water and tend God's garden.
6. Life is awesome - our Creator is awesome. How easy it is to take both for granted. How the earth speaks of His glory if we would but listen (Romans 1:20).
7. The purple and crimson-striped "morning glory" sings praise to the risen Christ by reminding me of His eternal Kingship, the stripes of His suffering (Isaiah 53), and His resurrection that morning many years ago. Praise Jesus Messiah, my Lord and my God!
Praise Him from whom all blessings flow!
Praise Him, all creatures here below!
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host!
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost! Amen.