Many a garden visitor has commented on how lovely and unusual the black elephant ears were. Imagine my dismay when I realized in December that we neglected to bring this plant into the warmth of the garage for the winter! It surely wouldn’t have survived the freezing temperatures, being a tropical plant; or so I thought.
As the early spring weeks marched along with their parade of new growth here and there in the garden, I watched the pot for signs of life. Even the three winters it had spent in the garage, it didn’t thrive until the warm spring temperatures hit. When summer was only a few weeks away, I reluctantly brought the pot with a whole lot of nothing to my potting table to recycle the soil in it.
Within a few days, I had need of potting soil for another plant. I dumped out the disappointing pot of elephant ears, and was surprised to see some white shoots on some very sparse roots. Not just one, but at least three or more. My expensive plant was alive! Or at least trying to be. I tucked it all carefully back into the pot and within another week saw leaves poking through. Some were green, some had started coloring up with that lovely black tinge.
It’s odd that we value plants for their color, or sometimes the lack of it. It simply has to do with preference, much like taste or smell. What is even more strange is that value is sometimes place on PEOPLE for their color, or lack of it.
“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings” (Acts 17:26, NKJV).
Racism makes no sense, especially to the Christian. We understand that all the people of the earth came from Noah and his wife, his sons and their wives. We are all brothers and sisters, and Jesus died for each and every one of us. How can we place a higher value on one over the other? Galatians 2 recounts how Paul rebuked Peter for ethnic prejudice and treatment.
At this time across America there is a hue and cry that one race must be given deferential treatment, and that their lives matter apparently more than others because of past injustices where their lives — actually their predecessors’ lives — didn’t matter as much as it should. The noise is so loud now that it silences the very injustices that it spawns.
The black leaves that I rescued did not take the place of the plainer leaves of the hosta that needed a pot. Another pot was chosen, another source was found for the soil. The hosta’s green and white leaves mattered, but that didn’t mean the Elephant Ears were going to be sacrificed.
In my garden, all leaves matter. Well, maybe not the “leaves of three.” I’ll let them be … in the trash. It wasn’t long ago that I got a nasty rash from some poison ivy! But I won’t trash the hosta just because I am rescuing the black leaves of the elephant ear.
While we work for justice and love for all people, let us be careful to root out the poison plants without harming the good. There is room and immense value for all God’s people in God’s beautiful world.