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CALADIUMS…are very interesting plants. It is one of my favorites during summertime. The landscape company does most of our planting. However, I have for a number of years reserved the privilege of planting our caladiums. We love the Jumbo White Christmas variety. We plant about fifty to sixty bulbs in pots around our yard that produce hundreds of blooms.

Maybe it’s a little bit of a farmer in me, but I love preparing the soil, fertilizing, planting the bulbs, covering them, watering and waiting. There is just something for me about getting the dirt under my fingernails. It’s probably a man thing. Joanne will tell you, I spent the next few weeks waiting on that first sign of a sprout. It’s always interesting to see which ones come up first or last. And then I watched the process of the shoots growing and unfolding into full blooms shaped like elephant ears. I am equally intrigued by the colorful veins running through the leaves. God’s handiwork at its best!

Every bulb produces these beautiful blossoms, but at the same time produce what is best known as a ‘false echo’. They grow alongside the good blooms and at first it is hard to tell the difference. But these never open and eventually die early or are pruned. As I was observing this year’s caladiums, it made me think about the Christian community.

Christ discussed this through parables. He used an illustration of wheat and tares. In Matthew 13for example. ‘Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way”‘ (vss. 24,25). We all know what wheat is and what it looks like. But tares; not an everyday commodity we see or handle. One source defines it this way. “The bearded darnel, mentioned only in Matthew is a species of rye grass, the seeds of which are a strong soporific (causing sleep) poison. It bears the closest resemblance to wheat till the ear appears, and only then is the difference discovered. It grows plentifully in Syria and Palestine.” (dictionary.babylon.com)

Similar, but entirely different! Wheat and tares; caladiums and false echoes. In the parable, the servants asked the owner if they should go and gather up the tares. The owner responds; ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn”‘ (vss. 29,30).

We are told that in the latter days the church will be filled with both believers and those who appear to be believers. It will be hard to tell the difference. As with the wheat and the tares, one has been planted by the owner and the other by an enemy. Jesus explains the parable to His disciples. “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sewed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age” (vss. 37-40).

We are in this age. Christ is going to return. When is for only His Father to know. But it is as certain as death and taxes! Where do you stand today? Are you ready to meet Him?

We may look good, we say all the right things, we may go to church in our ‘Sunday Go To Meeting‘ clothes (or at least some do). But Christ knows each of our hearts. And that is what He will judge when He comes in all His glory. Listen to the end of this parable. “The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (vss. 41-43)!

The next time you see a bed of caladiums this summer, ask yourself; am I for real or simply a false echo? Jesus said each of us can know for sure. Listen to His words inJohn 13“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another”(vss. 34,35). (Author underlined for emphasis) I can’t do that on my own, but He can, through me. I confess there is way too much in my life that resembles ‘false echoes’. How about you? Let’s continue praying for one another.

Copyright 2014

Bill C. Dotson



Scripture taken from the New King James Version

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