The softly subtle pink hues of the nearly-white crinum were barely perceptible in the long narrow bed of vibrant color. This is why I did not notice that the crinums were blooming already.
This was a new plant to me, with which I had become acquainted just two years ago in a renowned garden 40 miles to the north. The gardener who grew these is a diminutive Asian with a wonderful accent. Her pronunciation of this plant’s name almost sounded like “cranium,” and the friend who went with me to tour her legendary garden remarked that the bulb was as big as my head, so we may as well call it a “cranium.”
And so it was that the “cranium” was planted in the bed that had recently been cleared of all the spare irises, and mixed in with daylilies, irises, verbena, and blueberry bushes. Admittedly, the bed was a little crowded. My intention was to create a tall hedge of blueberries close enough to the kitchen to be able to enjoy them often…if only the rabbits would stop gnawing the unfortunate bushes down to tiny nubs!
Until this dream can come true, the bed is shared by a variety of new acquisitions, regardless of color. Last year we received many free or low-cost treasures, and the narrow bed became a mass of lush growth and color. This is why the crinum went unnoticed until it sported a half dozen trumpet-shaped blooms.
Also unnoticed by many is the use of our craniums, and its fragile contents — our brains. Scoffers may think Christian faith precludes knowledge and intelligent thoughtfulness. Nothing could be further from the truth!
There are instances where people are expected to act on faith alone, but these are more rare than one might think. Abraham was told to offer his son as a sacrifice, without an explanation. The blind man was told to wash in the pool of Siloam. Naaman was told to wash in the Jordan. These are some notable exceptions to the rule, and examples for us to have faith that obeys when we don’t understand completely.
In general, Christians are expected to understand enough to believe, then through our faith we then continue in obedience to the God who has been proven true.
“Wisdom is the principal thing;
Therefore get wisdom.
And in all your getting, get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7, NKJV).
God even tells his people to “reason together” with him (Isaiah 1:18).
The apostle Paul “reasoned with the Jews” in synagogues (Acts 17:2, 18:19).
When we follow that example of the apostles, and share our faith with others, it is not on the basis of a warm feeling we have experienced, nor a promise of something good if our friends only trust us and follow blindly. We are told how to share our faith, and that is by use of the logic and reasoning ability within our noggins.
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15).
The word for “reason” here is the Greek logos, from which we derive the word logic.
God expects us to use the brains that he gave us! Romans 1 and 2 explains how even those without God can figure out that he exists by reason of the world around them.
Let’s not forget our craniums as I almost lost track of my crinums.