A lesson from the aloe albiflora
Indulge me in some family memory please. I am the owner of an Aloe plant I suppose I could call him Fido because have known him since he was a “pup.” He was the offspring of a mama plant that my dad had lovingly tended. Mom took over when Daddy left us in 1987 and donated many little pups in the annual plant sale at the Patterson Memorial Library in her town. When Mom made the move to live with me in 2003, she chose to leave the mama with a neighbor and moved only a pup.
This aloe plant is different from other aloes I have known. It is spiny and it blooms. It does not bloom often, but it does bloom. The juice is just as healing as any other aloe plant. I looked up the variety and found it is aloe albiflora. It is used in landscaping in more arid areas.
One thing sets this plant apart, in my opinion. Rather than have new plants propagate from the roots, this aloe propagates from the leaves. (Yes, horticulturists call them leaves.) One first sees them nestled in the arms of the lower part of the plant. The pups, as horticulturists call them, are cuddled until a time when the leaf slowly dies away. When the leaf is pulled away, then the pup can be gently placed in the soil beside the mama until it is ready to live independently.
I like that. Paul described believers as first new born babes, then eventually growing into taking full strength nourishment in the form he called, meat. (I Corinthians 3) One time, I was a babe in Christ. I was 16 years old when I came to Christ. A dear pastor and his wife cuddled me even as the aloe cuddles the pup. They encouraged me, loved me, and prayed for and with me. Rollie Leeman, and his wife, Gnell nurtured me, then let me go, but always kept in touch. Even after I married, they kept communication lines open. By then I was well established in my own pot. I am so thankful for them.
Discipleship is an important part of our lives. Yes, we need to actively find those who will come to Christ, but then we need to shelter them until they become vibrant lives who then keep the cycle going in the church. If I live in the Shepherd’s presence, then that should also be appealing to others. New believers can trust me and I can help them. Let’s do it! Let’s be even as the aloe albiflora.