The Lesson in a Dead Pot of Mint

I grow mint.

Up until a few months ago, that mint was grown in a very large terra cotta pot in my backyard, but when we moved to our new/old house, I didn’t take the mint with me. It was too bulky and cumbersome and really, who wants to move those huge pots? Not this girl. So when we got to the new/old house, one of the first things I did in the Spring was to start a new pot of mint. I kept it in the kitchen, on the window seat and then, last month, I moved it outside onto the table.

Now, I don’t have a green thumb by any stretch, but I know that mint loves water as much as I love vodka. It is a thirsty herb. Miss a day, and the entire plant will droop. It’s kind of dramatic, that mint.

“Must…have…water…” *collapses*

Well, my potted mint plant could have won an Herbal Oscar over the last three weeks. See, I had gone to my cabin on July 1 for five days and despite giving the mint lots of water on the day I left, I arrived home to find a dead mint plant.Not just dead but dried and brittle. The soil had completely dried out. It was pitiful. I know it’s just a plant but I felt awful. That little plant died on my watch. I deserved a lifetime greenhouse ban.

“Hi, I’m here to buy some herbs.”

“Your ID, please.”<handing over driver’s license>

“Oh, I see you are on the “DO NOT SELL TO” list for killing mint. Get out.”

It was a dried pot of awfulness, but as I picked it up to throw it away, the DH stopped me.

“Prune it back and start watering it again,” he said.

“You see this, right?” I said, holding out the pot containing the sticks and twigs that used to be lush green mint. “There’s no coming back from this.”

“Just water it. Don’t stop. Do it every day,” he insisted.

And so, I did. I watered a pot filled with little dried twigs and sticks for almost two weeks. TWO WEEKS, people. And I felt stupid doing it. Every night, before bed, I would faithfully take my pitcher of water out to my pot of sticks and pour it in. It felt about as useful as watering rocks, but, I did it.

And then, last night as I made my way to my pot of dried twigs and sticks, I noticed something new.


Yes, amid the dead twigs and sticks were bursts of green…tiny tender leaves of mint pushing up through the soil.

Not gonna lie…I stood at that stupid plant and cried.

I cried not just because the mint was going to once again be green and lush, thus eliminating the need to run to the store every time I needed mint for iced tea or <cough cough> Moscow Mule cocktails.

I didn’t cry because I turned out to be wrong and the DH right, and this scenario will be added to the library of reminders: “Hey, babe. Remember that time when you were convinced you were right about the mint?”

No, I cried because that stupid little pot of mint became a huge metaphor for everything happening in our world. 
I cried because the knowledge of it all pierced my heart. 
I cried because in that pot, God showed me once again His faithfulness.

I was ready to give up; that plant was too far gone. 
And yet…I kept watering.

I felt like an idiot pouring water into something that looked like it was past the point of no return. 
And yet…I kept watering.

Life was stirring beneath the soil, but it needed time and faithfulness before it popped its head above the surface. 
I realized that no matter how it appeared, I was NEVER watering a dead plant. Had I walked away and refused to water, I would have never known that.

Thanks to a stupid pot of mint, I am reminded once again that God is working…even when we can’t see it.

I hope that knowledge brings you as much joy as it does me.

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