The Lesson of the Hollyhocks

“Oh, no,” I moaned as I stepped out my back door. “My prized hollyhocks!” There they were, lying on the ground in an uprooted, wilted heap. My brother had offered to weed our yard that day and had mistaken them for burdock.

If they had been ordinary hollyhocks, I might have given them up for lost. But my grandmother had given me the seeds, and I had planted them with loving care—enjoying the tall, green stalks and leaves and waiting for the blossoms that were already forming on top. Against my better judgment, I decided to replant them.

They drooped and shriveled for about a week. Then, finally, the tallest hollyhock started to lift a little. At last, bare of all but a few leaves and the unborn blossoms, all three of the plants came back to life. They have bloomed now, and even though their stems are gnarled and bare, I marvel at the beautiful red blossoms and the zest for life my hollyhocks have shown.

As I enjoy these hardy, unassuming flowers, I wonder if in times of trial—when my roots of faith are shaken, when I am hurt by someone else’s mistakes, or when my endurance is tested by a disease or a long illness—I, too, will be able to put down new roots, raise my drooping spirits, and let my zest for life blossom forth.

As I have pondered this question, I have found comfort in the invitation from the Lord: “And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” (Ps. 50:15.) Again I ask, “Will my zest for life triumph?” The answer comes quietly: “With God’s help, it will.”

[illustration] Illustrated by Diane Pierce

Bonnie J. Palmer, a homemaker, serves as a Spiritual Living teacher in the Springville Sixteenth Ward, Springville Utah Stake.