Persian Cyclamen

In the grounds of St Mary’s Church, Scarborough, I beheld a cyclamen growing, quite happily, in March. These plants I have found to be rather fussy when grown indoors, objecting to the temperature, the humidity, the water, the lot. One American gardening site, the Laidback Gardener, comments thus:

It’s a gift plant, period. Its role is to look pretty for a few weeks, then die.

I suspect that this specimen will better thrive on that Scarborough hillside than the several others for whom my house became their funeral parlour. Still, the pithy observation above reminds me of how most secular Britons view their own lives: quite pleasant, even something to be grateful for, but characterised by a meaninglessness and death. Is that all there is? We look pretty for a few years and then die? Deep down, we know this isn’t right; it’s not how it ought to be. The cyclamen does not grieve at the prospect of dying, but we do. The Christian gospel gives meaning to life; Christ gives answers to questions asked and unasked. He is the source of all life, and those who prefer to live without Him are no better than sad little houseplants wilting in the heat.