I don’t mean I actually want to turn into the plant on my windowsill.
Before I explain, let me take a moment to tell you some amazing facts about the Spider Plant.
Originally from the coast of South Africa, these grass-like plants are a widespread favorite for houseplants in the US. They embody numerous positive qualities that make them a great choice for many spaces.
- The greatest of these natural qualities is their ability to purify the air in a room. In just 24 hours they can eliminate 95% of airborne toxins. Many of which are too small to be captured by air purifiers or cleaning.
- In multiple studies these plants were proven to decrease depression, lower stress, and promote a healthy living environment. Patients in a hospital that had one of these plants in their room, had less anxiety, needed less pain medication, and even left the hospital sooner than patients without the plant.
- In Eastern cultures the Spider Plant is seen as an emblem representing steadfastness in life. This is because of their natural strong vines, ability to thrive in less than ideal environments, and endurance of neglect.
- These plants produce mini shoot-offs that can root and turn into their own rapidly reproducing plant. Known as “Spiderettes”, these plant babies look like miniature replicas of the parent plant.
- Unbeknownst to many cultivators in the West, the Spider plant is entirely edible. Safe for kids and pets. Providing many nutrients as an addition to stir frys, salads, and smoothies.
These are just a few of the humble Spider Plant’s many qualities!
While it may seem to be some insignificant plant just sitting in a pot on your shelf, this plant is doing much more than you realize.
Joy In Gardening
I have always gardened in some capacity from when I was very young. Though I never really enjoyed it. Not until a few years ago…
I attribute this newfound enjoyment of gardening to two women. I work at a shipping warehouse now, but on my days off you can still find me maintaining their gardens.
N and D both love plants. They are passionate about caring for nature. Not only that, they consistently glean truths to share with others from observing the natural world around them.
Spending time with these women has given me a taste for the beauty of the wild. It has opened my eyes to the importance of being still. It has motivated me to not only keep my indoor plants alive, but to help them thrive.
I’ve found joy in gardening because I’ve discovered that gardeners have access to a unique perspective on the world, and a treasure trove of lessons to learn right in front of them!
Like these women, God must really love plants. After all, He placed the first two beings into the middle of a garden. And called that arrangement “perfect”!
So, why a Spider Plant?
Let’s circle back to my statement about wanting to be a Spider Plant.
The other day I was laying on my bed with a journal and pen beside me. Low light was flooding in through the high window on our exterior bedroom wall illuminating the potted plants that were sitting on it.
I had a particularly trying day, was exhausted, and had let my guard down. I’d snapped at my husband and was feeling quite guilty. It wasn’t major but it was unkind nonetheless.
He was still at work and I was imagining how he might slip into our room without saying a word, how the atmosphere would be tense, and I’d have to muster up the humility to apologize.
Then I thought: “I don’t want to be the person who brings down the mood of a room. I don’t want to make our home a place of tense silence or unkind words. I just want to be like that Spider Plant.”
I looked up at its shiny green leaves and thought about what that could mean. Making our home a joyful place of encouragement and breathing life into my husband with every word.
My presence would promote a healthy living environment. I would be used as a tool to lift the spirits of others and bring healing to those who spend time around me.
I would thrive in the hardest of seasons, whether of drought or endless storm.
I would be a pattern for others. Someone who can say ‘imitate me as I imitate Christ’ and I’d see those miniature replicas of myself who love Christ and serve Him with all their energy.
The same week I had those thoughts about the Spider Plant, I had a run in with a very different sort of plant.
If you have ever gotten Poison Ivy you know how annoying, painful, and damaging it can be. It is a whole world different from the honorable Snake Plant.
After a simple clean up project in a roadside garden I went home with the signs to prove where I had been. Itching swelling red marks lined my legs and arms.
Poison Ivy is the villain of plants. It is a master at destroying and spreading death. Its victim is anyone who gets close to it (as long as you are allergic). All it takes is a moment, one touch, and you’ll regret it.
Don’t we all know people like that?
Those who are always ready with an unkind word on their tongue. Waiting for an unassuming person to come along for them to tear down and damage with words and actions.
I don’t want to be that poisonous plant that makes every area it invades a hell of sorts. I don’t want others to see me in a room and think “I don’t want to go in there with her being there” (as one would with poison ivy in a garden).
Maybe the vast differences between these plants is no coincidence. Maybe they are put into our world to teach us and make us think of what sort of people we want to become.
What Will I Choose? What Will You?
Those qualities I described at first, come naturally for a Spider Plant. They are hard won for a human. Nevertheless, as Christians, we have every tool needed to live this out.
Ingrained in us are two natures warning to define our character.
Christ is working in our hearts and dropping convictions into our minds to shape us into a loving people. All the while Satan longs to replace our positive qualities with sharp thorns and poisonous oils that break down those around us.
It’s up to us to decide what will define us. Sinful human nature (Poison Ivy), or the blood won nature of Christ in us (the Snake Plant).
It won’t be perfect. Sometimes we will mess up. But a new day and new opportunity will always come.
I want to be a Spider Plant and I hope you do too.
What lessons have you learned from gardening?
Do you often catch yourself letting your guard down under stress? What practices have you implemented to stay on guard against unkindness?
What quality of the Spider Plant were you most surprised by?