How Community is like a Garden Stake
A few years ago I planted lily bulbs. Lilies are among my favorite flowers. I was shocked when the bulbs grew into lily plants almost 6 feet tall! Then I was saddened when the blooms were so heavy that the plants dipped down almost to the ground. After a couple of years of this, I wised up and started using stakes to keep the lilies vertical.
This year my lilies were gorgeous, as you can see. Standing tall and proud, white and full of blossoms, they were a joy to behold. I have special stakes for them now, and as soon as the shoots appear, I gently wrap the stems around the stakes so that my lilies can hold their heads high. And then the torrential downpours came.
For whatever reason, one lily bowed its head beneath the weight of the heavy rain and collected rainwater. Instead of standing tall, it bent over, right at the point that the stake ends.
As I contemplated my sad bowed lily, I thought about community. The only thing keeping my lily upright and off the ground was that metal stake, which had been integrated into the lily’s stalk from the time it started growing this spring. Without that stake, the lily would be on the ground.
That’s what community does for us. When the rains come, community is what keeps us from falling down to the ground. Even if our heads are bowed in sorrow and we no longer have the strength to hold ourselves up, our community does the job for us. This is why I believe everyone needs a community of some kind: a faith group, a volunteer group, a hobby group, something. We all need a stake in our lives at some point.