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Consider the Hostas (article)

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Article 17 of 26 from the Ponder This - 2005 series

May 2005 – CONSIDER THE HOSTAS by Ray Pritchard Several weeks ago I noticed the hostas were starting to come up out of the ground. We have a long row of them by the sidewalk in front of our house. They were there when we moved in 11 years ago, and with very little attention from us, it happens the same way every year. They disappear in the fall and then reappear in the spring. Year after year the hostas have come back. They must be hardy plants because we basically don’t do anything to them. They keep coming back on their own. Here’s the amazing thing to me. On Monday when I was working in the yard, there were no hostas visible anywhere. It might as well have been the middle of January. On Monday, no hostas. On Wednesday, hostas everywhere. That amazed me, and still does. The plants weren’t full-grown, of course. Just a few green shoots popping out of the ground. But in 48 hours we went from brown dirt and dried-up leaves to a long row of young green shoots climbing out of the ground. In a few weeks, the hostas will fill in the space until you can’t even see the dirt. By the way, I consulted the Internet and discovered there are approximately 334,000 webpages that mention the lowly hosta. Perhaps I should not say they are “lowly” since there are at least 400 varieties, which means they are both hardy and very popular. I discovered that there is an American Hosta Society (, and a National Hosta Convention (in Cleveland, June 16-18). I also found out that hostas are considered the “friendship plant,” though I couldn’t discover why. The website even contains pictures of the “Hosta of the Year” winners going back to 1996. I’m happy that our hostas came back so quickly. Winter in Chicago seems to drag on forever, as if February had 50 extra days. But the hostas know better. You don’t see them poking their way out of the snow. When the hostas come up, spring has arrived. It seems like a parable to me. Life can change so suddenly, and often for the better. One day all you see is brown dirt and dried-up leaves. That dirt and those leaves may stay there, unchanged, for weeks or months or years. Then one day there are green leaves everywhere. The essence of hope is to believe that beneath the dirt the green leaves are making their way to the surface. Just because you don’t see them today doesn’t mean they won’t be there tomorrow. To everything there is a season, and a reason. God can change things for the better, and sometimes he does it very quickly. To paraphrase Jesus, consider the hostas and how they grow.

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2013 KBM Winter Report