I am so blessed to be the Chaplain at Mountain View Aged Care Centre. Each day is unpredictable, yet rewarding, as I work alongside residents and staff. God teaches me lessons in the simple things, and yesterday was one of those days.

I have been away for three weeks as I ventured to Myanmar on a mission trip. This trip reminded me of how blessed we are to live in this country. So much takes place in a few weeks. Let me tell you a story.

As I was visiting a beautiful female resident a few weeks ago, we discovered we had something in common. We both love African violet plants. I have had seasons of success, seasons of disappointment, and times where I have had to leave my lovely plants behind when moving interstate.
I always start all over again, and at times I have promised myself I would not buy another African violet.

During my visit with her, I noticed that her plant wasn’t looking healthy. I felt it was in the wrong position, as I have learned that the place for these somewhat temperamentals, is to be positioned in a very light bright spot, preferably where the morning sun can warm it. It was also needing a re-pot and some nutritional dirt to hold the stalk upright. I offered to re-pot and replenish the plant, adding a touch of fertiliser. We also agreed to move it to a window sill where the light would bring warmth.

Before I went to Myanmar, this particular resident, who was by then my very excited friend, beckoned me to her room as she wanted me to see the flower buds peeping through the leaves. Each day she had counted new ones, and we were both so excited.

When I arrived back at work this week, she greeted me saying that we must go and see her plant. I was astounded as I couldn’t believe my eyes. The plant was flooded with beautiful lilac flowers, and large flowers at that – they were perfect huge lilac flowers. ‘Eat your heart out Bunnings!’ I thought. I think it would win a prize at the Canberra Show, the flowers are so perfect.

We are both thrilled, and I could only feel God was shining down on my precious friend with His beauty, His power, His warmth, His blessing, and His joy.

Today in conversation, I found myself saying that a little plant food has made all of the difference. Watering is not enough to produce flowers, but a little food nourished its growth and health. As I was speaking these words to my friend, I could align these truths to the health of our own lives, both physically and spiritually.

As adults, we cannot live on water alone, to grow and stay healthy. We need food for nourishing, growth, health and sustainability. Our spiritual life needs food and nourishment also. Communing with God, and attending to the spiritual part of our being is essential to our wholeness and wellbeing.
In our Salvation Army aged care ministry, this aspect of our care for our residents is most important.

Just as our plant needed the warmth of the morning sun, and placed where that was best for its wellbeing, so we need to be planted in the right place for our growth and fruitfulness.

God has gifted us with all we need and has equipped us for every good thing for us to be fruitful for Him. He has gifted us, to glorify Him. I am praying that God will continue to teach me, to use me and to show me His glory every day in my workplace and this beautiful community of precious souls at Mountain View.

– Major Bev McMurray