Last month for several days thousands of people watched on a web cam as an endangered tropical Sumatran plant came to life right before our eyes. “Lois”, her name, soon became the hottest thing in the museum and the city of Houston. Her horticulturist became an overnight “twitter” celebrity. People as far away as Japan were hungry for information about this rare giant beauty. Overnight it seemed a whole community was born to watch and wait together. Bloggers, Photographers, Twitterers,(is that a word?), Postings on Facebook, News Reports etc. Some would say we had all gone nuts over this plant. It gave some people a purpose for their day. Watching gave some an excuse for not getting their work done.
Lois started from a tiny walnut size tuber six years ago. No one can predict when or if the Corpse Flower” will bloom. Lois kept all of us watching and waiting. The museum would announce… …“Lois” has grown 4 inches today…she may reach up to 10 feet. Ten Feet! That’s material for science fiction movies. Remember the musical about the plant in the hair salon? That’s it “Little Shop of Horrors”.
“Lois” had a vivid bizarre beauty about her. Her bulging base, speckled in green, resembled an exquisite urn. Her giant petals neatly folded; pressed tightly together forming a corset holding her together. I could not help but be awestruck by the sheer imagination and creativity of our Creator. How anyone could look at this plant and not acknowledge the existence of God is beyond me.
“Lois” invited us all, through her rare beauty, to keep watch and wait. “Lois” was generating her own community. I’m sure some local ministers were jealous! Day after day the reports teased that today she would bloom; only to be followed by disappointment. Her time had not yet come.
Was God was using “Lois” to teach us all about patience? In our society everything is instant …food, messages, emails, information, etc. Patience is something we grow weary of quickly. Life is too busy to wait for anything! (or so we think) But thousands of us waited patiently for Lois to open her purple ruffled petals. We were captivated by something that spoke no words. We were forced to live in the present.
Finally after days of watching and waiting it happened…The petals that pressed so tightly hugging her for dear life began to gradually release. They unfurled revealing her inner beauty for us all to behold. It was like this rare giant blossom was lifting it’s “arms” to give praise to God. Wonder and Awe!!!
Along with this spectacular show of beauty came something so incongruent, but expected. There was wafting from “Lois” the awful smell of rotting garbage. She produces a stink in order to attract just the right beetle for pollination. I know how important fragrances are, but really this is almost humorous. Our God is not only creative, but he has one heck of a sense of humor too. Another reminder…appearances never tell the whole story. Hmmmm.
I could not help thinking about the effects sin has on my soul. No matter how beautiful the outside may be. We had this vivid contrast presented to us through our sense of sight and smell.
In the end “Lois” did not have the energy to fully open, but at least 50, 000 people stood in line to catch a glimpse of this rare endangered smelly “corpse flower”.
Yes, I was one of those who stood in line to view this living example of God’s creation.
One last note…we should all be concerned over the devastation of our rainforests throughout the world. Much more is endangered than this giant corpse flower.
Today give God praise and glory for the wonders of his creation.