For we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard. Acts 4:20
Ah, the orchid. Beautiful. Fragile. Fragrant. Stinky.
That’s right, stinky. There are 30,000 species of orchids in the world and few are more rare than the Yosemite bog-orchid. The plant is only found in nine places of the world, all of which are in Yosemite Park between 6,000 and 9,000 feet. According to a recent Associated Press article, there is one other thing that makes the Yosemite bog-orchid unique: it stinks. The botanist who is credited with discovering the uncommon flower said that it smells like “a horse-corral on a hot afternoon.”
In fact, it was not the beauty of the flower, but the smell of sweaty feet that drew her to the plant.
Now, I know that this piece of news will fill the thousands of readers of this devotion with an overwhelming desire to rush right out and see this rarity of creation. This may lead you to ask, “Exactly where can we find the Yosemite bog-orchid?” I’m not going to tell you.
I’m not going to tell you because I can’t. I can’t tell you because the people who discovered the orchid aren’t telling me. They’re keeping the bog orchid’s whereabouts a secret.
This protective attitude is based on the belief that orchid lovers might love the discovery to death. As one park ranger said, “There's concern that it will get trampled. It's a rare and precious resource that we want to protect.”
This “keep-it-to-yourself” attitude is quite different than that of the disciples who, by the Spirit’s power, had been brought to faith in Jesus as their Savior and Lord. They knew that in Jesus’ empty tomb, they had a site that was unlike any other on earth. Rather than keeping the story of Jesus’ resurrection secret, the disciples shared the salvation message with anyone who would listen. In fact, when the Jewish Sanhedrin told them to keep the news of Jesus’ resurrection to themselves they said, “we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”
Their sharing attitude is an example that healthy Christianity has followed for 20 centuries. Christ’s command and our desire to share God’s good-news-gift of a risen Savior compel us to invite everyone to take a look at the place where salvation became reality.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we give thanks for the wonders of creation, but most of all, we give thanks for the miracle of Your love that has given us a living Savior. May we, as the opportunity is given, invite others to see the risen Savior. Amen.