I have one blossom on a camellia bush given to me by a friend.  I’m very proud since for ages the small slip seemed barely to live, much less grow and flourish.  Any plant given by a friend has a special value, because it means part of that person is now alive in my care, as if I were able to graft the friend into my garden.  I worried about this camellia, not wanting to abandon it, but seeing no signs of growth.  Then suddenly this year it took hold and began to establish itself.  I wonder about the living gifts I give others; are they healthy acts of love and sharing, or do I give dying stalks of judgment and disappointment?  Help me, please Lord, to live my life so that the acts of kindness I perform may take root and flourish in other gardens. Amen.

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