Watering houseplants is a lot like maintaining community.
I thought about this the other day as I watered the six plants in my living room. As I drizzled water from my elephant-shaped watering can, I contemplated the immense amount of effort I put into keeping these little green creatures alive.
Each plant needs a different amount of water. Some are crazy about sun, others don't really need much. One plant shrivels while another one flourishes. Each speaks a different language. And here's me, just hoping by some miracle, by some stroke of luck, I can keep them all alive.
I realized caring for houseplants is a good metaphor for maintaining community. Because in the same way that keeping plants alive is a task and a half, requiring enormous amounts of effort and time, keeping tabs on the people you love also requires a ton of work on your part.
I have friends in 20 different states and a couple different countries. I have high school friends, college friends, work friends, internship friends, industry friends, and internet friends. Praise God, there is no lack of amazing people in my life. I get the tremendous responsibility of deciding who to invest in.
And that's just what community is: an investment. Just like the choice to continually water a plant or to pick up a new one, knowing the time and effort it will require.
To keep a friendship, you have to actually communicate with your friend.
Liking their Facebook posts is not enough, even though I sometimes convince myself it is. Some of my friends communicate well via text. Others are a little harder to get a hold of. I have friends who are impossible to reach, people I have to annoyingly hound until they finally respond. My friends know that relationships worth having are a fight, and they know I'm willing to fight for them.
Sometimes I find myself desiring to be known, without actually having invested energy into knowing someone else. Friendship is a two way street. Simply by reaching out to the people you've had in mind to call (for months now) you can reestablish a community that simply needed a little watering.
You have an immense capacity to be blessed and to bless the people in your life by reminding them of truth and encouraging them in faith. Call your friends every now and then. And water your plants too, while you're at it.
A self-proclaimed "overdramatic weirdo," Angela loves connecting with people (and often embarrassing herself) live on the radio. Some call her a hipster. Others just don't know what to call her. She is recent graduate of Cedarville University with a degree in Broadcasting and background in music business. All it takes is a mention of music, coffee or traveling to get her excited.