I’m sure I’ve told you about the cactus that survives on my front porch… but have I ever told you why I keep it?

I have a cactus that sits on my porch. I put it there to move people away from a poorly designed low beam left by the builders of my home back in 1967. When people see my cactus they avoid it and by perfect design, they also avoid whacking their head!

This cactus sits in the driest, hardest, soil DIRT imaginable (it’s practically concrete). I will splash this little cactus with some occasional water but other-than-that it gets no attention from me. It sits in the hottest sunlight and gets little shade.

Once when transplanting this cactus to a larger pot I inadvertently got “stuck” by several of its glochid (ɡlōkəd) (spines/needles/prickles/etc.) It was lesson I won’t soon forget. That’s actually what gave me the idea for its current placement. People typically do whatever they can to avoid an encounter with cactus.(Except maybe on those daredevil television shows where a complete imbecile runs into them ON PURPOSE dressed only in an oversized diaper!)

This cactus isn’t much to look at, and when you do, you immediately see the warning signs (actually hundreds-n-hundreds of them) telling you to stay away! Other than keeping people at arms length—and in this case from banging their heads—it’s essentially good for nothing. It’s a complete waste of a perfectly good ceramic!

That is NOT the reason I keep it around. Just yesterday it happened… again. From a dry and lifeless place; an unlikely location, beauty bloomed… again.

On my way out the front door, headed off to work, there it was… a bloom. This pain in my life (literally) occasionally surprises me with a gorgeous gift. It’s perfect in size and shape. And its color is so intense, so saturated, that it’s literally impossible to look at for more than a few seconds without averting your eyes. How could something so lacking suddenly produce something so incredible.


Last night on my way back in the front door I passed it again, this time the bloom was gone. It had completely shriveled up in less than 12 hours. All of that WOW had wilted… just a short-lived glimpse of loveliness. It was unexpected in its arrival and left me disappointed in its departure.

It actually reminds me a lot of me. I too can be prickly and standoffish; keeping people at arms length. There are days I feel like a complete waste of human effort. Then suddenly something blooms in my life; unexpected splendor in a kind deed, word or gesture. I know it’s not me, but HIM through me, producing a good and beautiful moment. That’s when I know His Spirit is at work, transforming my life to something more wonderful than I deserve or could possibly attain on my own.

That’s really why I keep it around; it reminds me to hope He will do something good through me again… someday… soon!

Lead Pastor | Marty Walker

Lead Pastor | Marty Walker

This happened last year: bloomed before sunrise and withered before sunset.