Tabitha died today, much before her time. Neighbors reported her death to Plant Protective Service (P.P.S.) and officers rushed right out to investigate–at my house! They wanted to know how the best and healthiest of the entire group could succumb to pneumonia. Never mind the freezing temperatures after weeks of playful winds up to sixty miles per hour. When the going gets tough, the tough get going!

As they quizzed me, one leveled a stare at me. It was like looking down the barrel of a .357. “Did you, her owner, contributed to her death by neglecting to cover her every night?” I shrugged. Another asked, “Did you, the accused, deny Tabitha water while you were treating the lawn with Weed and Feed?”

“How would you evaluate your daily parental attention and care?”

Before I could answer, the second cut in, “Did you, the custodial guardian, completely blown off the ‘storm watch’ warnings on”

I hung my head, ashamed. “Well, yes,” I mumbled. “Somehow I only got to the top four on my ‘to do list.’”

“I thought so,” the officer said. “I remember Tabitha when we sent her home with you for adoption. Her leaves were strong, full, ruffled and dark. Now all she has are brown stumps. She had been budding out to produce fruit.”

“But I carefully prepared her bed and dug out wads of wrecking-ball sized roots.” I whined. “I even put in new soil and fertilizer.”

“Then why did you neglect her?”


“Forgot? That’s no excuse for murder! We will have to cite you on behalf of the Ned’s Nursery Adoption Agency. Don’t even think about applying for adoption again before June 15!”
Fortunately, God does not forget. Read Psalm 121:3-8. Pay attention to verse 7: “The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life.” [NIV]

His care, love, and consistency for us are built into every day. He covers us with a blanket of warmth and love when we need it, tucks us in with encouragement and challenges us while giving us food and water we need. When he is finished, he will have made us all the cream of his crop!

[Jo Russell is a Christian teacher, speaker, author of many articles, contributor to several anthologies, and Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women, Intermedia Publishing, 2011. For more chuckles, keep checking her weekly blog on]