The day we prayed with Moi to receive Jesus as her Lord and savior, I was sitting at my table for lunch with a dear friend and I noticed on the patio an orchid that had sat dormant for more than a year, now with big buds on it. I was so excited I ran to take a look and show my guest as well. “Can you believe it, in all my days I have never had the joy of seeing an orchid bloom for a second time—not under my care.”
These were big buds full of life and I couldn’t wait to see them open. Each time someone came to the house over the next few days I would make sure they saw the budding orchid. I was so excited!
When the buds finally opened I was beside myself, certain they were much more beautiful than ever before. As I sat in awe of this precious gift I felt God say to my spirit, “I did that for Moi. This is not for you, but for her.”
Oh, man really? You want me to take this piece of art to Moi’s shack? I wasn’t convinced it wouldn't last or be appreciated. It would be like setting a Ruby ring on her finger to wear as she dug through the trash to rummage for food—so out of place. Beauty for ashes, I felt my spirit whisper.
To be honest it took me a few days to hike the plant up the hill to Moi, but I did finally make the trek. When I arrived it was as though she was waiting for me with a curious look on her face, but she continued to rant about this and that until I finally walked into her house, set the orchid on her rickety table and motioned for her to come in because I wanted to talk to her and give her something.
She ran in and looked at the flower and then ran back out shouting….”this is proof, this is proof that God speaks to me.” She went and grabbed a humble little houseplant she had planted into a disposable green planter she had found in the dump and now had hidden to keep it safe. She was so proud of it!
She told us the story of finding the pot and planting the plant but while caring for it, God told her to give it to her neighbor because He had something better for her. She doubted, wondered and waited. And then I came up the hill with this amazing flower…”God speaks to me, that’s the proof.”
I told her my story about the flower budding for the first time in years and how God had done that for her and then asked me to bring it to her as a symbol of the new life in her—a true beauty for all to behold. God does want us to give our treasures away so he can fill us with something better. Beauty for ashes. And like that orchid perched as a trophy on the rickety table, we too are to show beauty and light in the darkest and ugliest of places.
We prayed for Moi believing that God will use her to show His beauty to her neighbors and family. Yes we believe that when God said salvation would fall on Moi’s house it was for many more than her alone. We prayed for the God of peace to set her ranting heart at rest so that she could continue to hear His voice and follow it. She hugged herself as tears rolled down her cheeks and whispered, “I just can’t stop thinking about that flower and what it means.” May we never forget…
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,….
To give them beauty for ashes,….
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” --Is. 61
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new --II Cor. 5:17
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also --Matt. 6:19-21