My wife loves plants. We have them growing all around our house, where she waters and cares for them. They thrive and grow under her watchful eyes.
I am the opposite. People bring plants to the Church building or leave them after a funeral. It is a nice gesture, but it requires someone to water them, adjust for sun, trim and care for them. The result is I usually have to toss a dead plant due to my lack of attention.
With this in mind, our Church has opted to purchase several nice-looking fake plants. They look lovely, require little care, and can be stored if we need them out of the way. I like the way it looks, but I fear it sets a poor precedent. It might appear to some as if we value exterior looks over the real thing.
For many people, our life is about as fake as those plants. We have learned that if we say the right things, people quit asking questions. If we have a few common religious answers at Church, then no one will question our spirituality. In our marriage, we can paint on a happy face in public and make everyone think there are no issues. Our social media presence is nothing but a mirage of smiles and joy. Some of us have developed the unique ability to fake smiles, fake laughs, fake interest, and even fake love so well that no one even notices anymore.
Fake plants look nice for a while, but they do not compare to the beauty of the real thing. They collect dust, have no pleasant smell, and fade in the sun. Time destroys fake plants, and no one cares.
The real thing has unmatched beauty, provides a pleasing aroma, comes back year after year, or leaves the seeds for a new plant. They arrive in the spring and bring joy to everyone who sees them. They are life and beauty and a blessing to the world.
Genuine people, even during their struggles, are a blessing. They help, offer compassion and empathy to others. They have a unique beauty in their soul that makes them a pleasure to be around. They bless the world with their presence.
So the next time you feel like you need to fake it, remember those fake plants. They are just a cheap substitution for the real thing. They will never be worthy of imitation.