Phony Pitcher Plants

You will know the truth and the truth will set you free! John 8:32

A while back in the middle of the night I found myself watching a documentary on the Pitcher Plant. Perhaps it was my groggy state, or my laziness I watched it in its entirety. I can assure you it was not an overwhelming desire to know more about the carnivorous plant that kept the television channel on the program.

A little while later my husband and I were talking to a friend. He’d asked did we know what a pitcher plant was? My husband and I spoke simultaneously each with a different answer. I was the affirmative, he was the negative. As our friend spoke of a pitcher plant bog in southern Alabama I listened with interest; I did make a note but was not adding it hard and fast to the vacation agenda.

When our vacation arrived we spent one day, as we have done traditionally for many years – Martin Adventuring Day – with no real agenda except to make our way to a favorite small town.

As we traversed Highway 98, the scenic and not-so-scenic we encountered locals and beautiful older than Alabama trees with hanging Spanish moss. We saw old homes that I mused must have been made of good stuff because despite their obvious age and numerous destructive weather phenomena they would have witnessed, those old bungalows were still upright. Just before we crossed some big bridge over a bay we stumbled upon the Pitcher Plant Bog.

I am not sure exactly what type of fanfare I expected for a mass of meat-eating plants. Perhaps I thought we would find a guide or two, dressed like the documentary folks, or that character from low-budget jungle movies that have some long-lost field worker found wearing a hat with mosquito netting, khaki shorts that meet tall brown calf covering socks, a shirt with lots of pockets, and a slightly diminished British accent.

pitcher-plantAs we took the self-guided tour in the blazing heat of the Alabama Sun we spied several of the carnivorous plants. After an hour or more We had taken a few photos, all agreed that – they weren’t nearly as large as we thought they’d be, – there sure could be a lot of snakes hiding out, – we were hungry, – it was “hotter than the Devil’s armpit” out, and – we had seen enough.

As our day moved on and we adventured our way to the various places, I put the Pitcher Plants in the back of my mind.

Several weeks later we were at a clubhouse of sorts. Over the course of time there all of us had gone to the restroom. As I walked in I noticed the imitation flower arrangement sitting on the commode tank, a decorative piece, clearly placed there for its exotic look and appealing colors. I knew immediately what it was – an arrangement of fake Pitcher Plants. As I sat cautiously, I giggled and wondered if anyone else had given much thought to the decor of the bathroom. As the carnivores looked over my shoulder I became a bit uncomfortable and found myself speeding things up a bit.

I didn’t mention the arrangement to anyone, it was out of my mind in no time and I moved on with the tasks I had at hand.

As our time at the clubhouse came to a close I was approached by Shelton, his hair dripping from hours of swimming. He pulled me and insisted I “see something important!”

I gave in to his imploring and followed the point of his finger to the bathroom,

“How do you like that? Do you think anybody knows when they are using it those could eat them if they were real?”

He burst into laughter, I laughed too at his recognition of the those and how a similar thought had crossed my mind.

We parted ways, he to the do his job of outside pickup, and I to the kitchen to put away leftovers.

As I packed away the leftovers My youngest petitioned me loudly from down the hallway.

“Mama! Maaa-ma! Come quick!”

I bolted down the hallway to see my youngest pointing at the commode. A slight panic overtook me. “We’ve ruined the clubhouse toilet- where had I seen that plunger?!”

“Look Mama! It’s the plants!”

She had recognized them too.

Relief washed over me as I praised her for her recognition and excitement. I tucked the experience in my mind and moved on with my clean up duties.

Prior to the Annual Martin Adventure, we had no idea what those weird-looking plastic plants were. There was no recognition of their power or uniqueness. We had no point of reference really. After the hour at the bog, the Martins knew and even found the humor in such an oddly placed plant.

pexels-photo-208278The King’s Word can be like that. When we do not know it, know the Truth it encompasses, understand the solidarity that accompanies it when studied together, and the comfort it freely gives, we are not able to recognize it when we are confronted with a counterfeit. When we are fed a fake we do not know it, we do not fully recognize it, because we have not experienced the genuine.

Shelton and Maggie recognized the likeness of the Pitcher Plant but because they knew the real one. They also recognized there was no threat of the fake ones sitting on the back of the potty.

We must know the Word, must long to explore and understand its Truth so that when we are confronted with a fake we are able to recognize it as such.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.

2 Timothy 3:16 ESV

 

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