Perhaps you recall walking on the beach through areas of Beach Grass and not thinking too fondly of it, for it was rough and scratchy on your bare feet. However, Beach Grass or Marram Grass is a very important plant to our beaches and sand dunes. It has the ability to adapt and grow fast under difficult conditions, as it’s long reaching roots bind the sands together, helping to stop erosion.[i]
Marram Grass is quite an interesting plant. It’s scientific name is Ammophila, which in Greek means “sand loving”. Its purpose is to prevent erosion, increase stability, repair damages, and encourage new growth in sand covered areas. A microscopic cross section photo of this sand loving plant shows what seems to be many little happy faces within it, causing one to think perhaps this plant is very happy doing what it was created to do on the beaches each day.
It has been said that “The plant’s strategy to deal with life where the collection and retention of fresh water is problematic is to roll up in times of stress and hold on to what it has acquired.”[ii] That is quite an admirable statement and one which causes me to think that Marram Grass is quite a marvelous and fascinating work of God. It actually could represent what we Christians should be doing in our world today.
As Christians we should be making a difference in the world around us. In this constantly shifting, swirling, changing world we live in, our presence should bring stability. We should be rooted and grounded so firmly in God’s word that no erosion can take place where we are located, and if somehow the enemy or the world does cause damages to faith, hope or belief we should be actively repairing those damages and encouraging new growth by clinging to what we have been given in Christ and sharing it with others as needed.
Let’s think upon this, and perhaps begin to model our lives after the Marram Grass, that often overlooked plant that continues to happily do what it was created to do, even though no one may notice.