Watering a Dead Plant

by Mrs. Frodo
There are plenty of stories throughout the lives of the saints concerning the foolish things prospective members of religious orders were told to do by their superiors as tests of obedience and patience. The ones that stick with me (no pun intended) always begin with some hapless novice being ordered to water and care for a brittle, lifeless stick lying on the sill.

The most impatient novice might refuse outright...and be shown the gate for her pride and lack of humility. But the meek, obedient novice would set about caring for her ‘charge’ as instructed.

Just so, Frodo accepted responsibility for a dead, shriveled plant––a ridiculous quest, hopeless, downright idiotic. No way was that plant going to respond when its sap had long since dried away, leaving it so frail that a careless move could snap its trunk. Success was impossible. Yet...as insane as it was, this useless dried up twig was the only chance Middle-Earth had. So he and his foolish Fellowship took it.

As the stories go, every great, greeeaaat once-in-a-while, after the novice had begun her silly task, Mother Superior would check on the stick and find it flushed green, covered with blossoms, more alive than other bit of green in the convent grounds.

As Mother Teresa said, the call is not to be successful. The call is to be faithful.

Higher, wider forces prised the buds free of the bark, but the watering and tending which made it possible were Frodo’s.