Lantern PlantAre you a gardener? If you been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I come from a long liner of green thumbs.

My thumbs are not green. In fact, I’ve often wondered if they were black because most things I plant tend to die. It might have something to do with the fact that I invest a full day of loving care and attention to them and then wish them well, moving on to my next project.

Plants, like people, are not independent just because you want them to be. They require some assistance and care until they’re grown and have a strong root system in place.

I have a friend who not only has a green thumb, she’s like the guru of plants. She’s in the garden club and has been known to bring a clipping of a plant to show me and educate me. I think I’m beyond help, really.

One day she brought in a dead plant, on purpose. I thought, now that ‘s the type of plants I have.¬†She wasn’t making fun of me, although I am certain I give her plenty of material. She brought it in because she knew the minute I saw it would speak to me. It it beautiful when it’s thriving and alive, but dead, it spoke volumes.

It’s called a Chinese Lantern plant. When it’s growing, it is rich with color and quite lovely (see the picture above). It looks a lot like Chinese lanterns, hence the name. But when it dies, it is equally as beautiful. It becomes transparent and you can see a little treasure hidden inside.


The ball inside the dried up lantern is the seed packet. When the plant dies, then the seed ball yields  seeds, Chinese lanternallowing it to mass produce.

Like this plant, if we are to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we must die to self. We must let go of:

  • our agenda
  • our plans
  • our goals

in order to take up His. We must become transparent, so when others look at us, they see Jesus.

Like the Chinese Lantern plant, when we die to self, we speak loudly to the world and our message is Jesus.

Then, and only then, will we be able to multiple. Matthew 16:24 puts it this way,

Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.'”

Jesus called us to be the light of the world {Matthew 5:14]. Our purpose isn’t to shine our own light, it’s to allow His light to shine through us. In doing so we light the way so others see Jesus.

In John 8:12 Jesus said,

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Is your light shining? Who or what is it drawing attention to?