Thank you for joining in to another entry of my series, God’s Mysterious Ways, where I write about things that may be more than just coincidences, where God may very well indeed have a hand behind it, which for today is about a very old Christmas cactus that has been in my partner’s life for well over 60 years.
I’ve always been fond of Christmas cactuses. My mother had a massive one in our living room that I can remember was always there as far back as I can remember and bloomed every holiday season with these extremely beautiful pinkish-red flowers. When I met my partner Chris and visited him for the first time in early 2012, one of the first things I noticed in his home was one quite similar to my mother’s. He told me it was very old when I asked him about it. Botanists say that Christmas cactuses can live as long as 100 years, and my partner estimated his was well over 60 years old given it had been passed down from his mother to him.
When the first Christmas with my partner came later that year, I waited excitedly to see what his cactus would look like in bloom. But that moment never came, as it didn’t produce a single flower that year, nor the next, or the one after that, until eventually nine holiday seasons would come and go without a single bloom. We did everything one is supposed to do to help make a Christmas cactus healthy. From leaving it in rather dark rooms, to feeding it special cactus food, to me even talking to it regularly and asking it to bloom, we tried everything. Each holiday season the other Christmas cactuses around it would bloom, but never this one. Chris and I began to assume that maybe it was just too old to. In fact, he couldn’t even remember the last time he saw any blooms emerge on it.
But then 2021 came. A year that had far too many challenges I’d honestly like to forget about. My health issues alone and all my stress surrounding the pain that came from it was a major part of those challenges. One afternoon during a particularly difficult day of ailments, I found myself looking at that old Christmas cactus when suddenly I found myself praying for God to give it a single bloom this year, just to let me know I’m going to be ok with my health and that I’m still on the right path. I honestly forgot about that prayer, that is until I came home one day just after Christmas and went to close the blinds where our three Christmas cactuses sit on pedestals. As I closed the shades, I noticed something very odd. As I took a closer look, I couldn’t believe it, there wasn’t just one bloom on that ancient Christmas cactus, there were many!
I truly do think that whomever God is, He really does have a sense of humor. While many of my prayers often seem to go unanswered, the ones that do get answered are ones that tend to come in ways that really blow my mind. Why this 6+ decade-old Christmas cactus bloomed this year after having not bloomed in well over ten years or more wasn’t because of any of our doing, other than saying a prayer and leaving the rest in God’s hands. Hands that led to a beautiful reminder of God still being there in my life and hands that most assuredly made for another special entry in my series, God’s Mysterious Ways…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson