When we moved into our new home in 2015, we inherited some plants and a lot of them were neglected. Among them was an ideal indoor plant, known for its tenacity and tolerance for neglect, dehydration, low light and all that. This dark green plant, with thick sturdy leaves, is the Sansevieria Trifasciata or more commonly known as Snake Plant or Mother-in-Law's Tongue. Immediately these names tell you that whoever it was who was in charge of naming this plant maaaaybe was not particularly fond of it? Now I have come to just call it Sans.
When my brother came by to help us get settled, one of my first requests was for him to either take it home if he wants it, or give this plant away because I wanted the big pot for something else. I didn't care for it very much myself, really. My brother however, decided to save a few leaves with some roots in them and proceeded to plant them in one corner of our yard, a bit out sight. I saw this and just shrugged and thought "meh". Now I am thankful he did that. This Sans, over a year later has given me a renewed understanding of Grace in Adversity. Well, because God is clever like that, His teachings come in various shapes and sizes and at times you least expect. This is exactly what happened when I saw it one morning.
Flower buds? I had to move some leaves out of the way to see where this stem was coming from, our garden is quite full now so I wasn't sure if this was from the neighboring plant. I've never seen Sans flower before..
Do you know why? Because that flower stem only comes out when your plant is in constant stress. You can own Sans for decades (literally), and never see it bloom. How amazing is that?
When I learned this, immediately I thought, that is precisely how God works in us.
Bad things happen, sometimes it's our fault and sometimes they are out of our control. Like how Joseph's brothers sold him and he lived as a slave and then a prisoner for many years.
you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good - Genesis 50:20
God had good plans for Joseph, He made something so absolutely magnificent come out of his suffering and his brothers' sins - salvation from sure death for them and the rest of the tribe of Israel. In the time when Egypt forgot and enslaved this tribe, Moses came out of it. When the Israelites forgot and wandered for 40 years, Joshua came out of it and the list goes on.
The Bible is full of stories of adversities and deliverance. Nothing can stop God's grace in making beauty come out of a seemingly bad situation.
Now I don't mean to promote suffering for your Sans! We like to take good care of our plants but this was a great discovery. I have come to appreciate my Sans and I will move it to a less crowded spot. 🙂
Trivia and Benefits of the Sansevieria Trifasciata:
- The NASA Clean Air Study found S. trifasciata has air purification qualities, removing 4 of the 5 main toxins. (Wikipedia)
- Not only does it not produce allergens, it actually absorbs allergens.
- It can tolerate some or perhaps even a bit more neglect - little water, little light.
- Indoors, a 5-blade pot can purify a 20 square meter room.
- Leaves cut into pieces can remove the ghastly odors of your fridge.
- Placed beside TVs and computers, it is said to reduce radiation.
- Boiled, it is used as an antibiotic and can help with high blood pressure, diarrhea , flu, colitis and gastritis, diabetes.
- Life span: many, many years.
This has completely changed my view of the Sans. Every time I see it I am moved to say a quick thank you to our Creator for such a beautiful gift.