Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Garden Musings

Usually the children in the Special Needs classes rake, plant, weed, and harvest whatever our school garden produces.  But last week it was time to chop plantain leaves, and transplant small seedlings so I spent a day in the garden "cleaning it up". Just as I was finishing about 2:30, our vice principal informed me that we would have visitors in about 15 minutes.  They were coming to consult about giving items to the kitchen but she wanted to know if they could get a garden tour while they were here.  God's timing is always perfect.  I was so glad we had "cleaned it up" and I could show it off with some confidence. A few of the women are gardeners and they delighted in smelling the rosemary, lemon grass, cilantro, epezote and oregano.   I gave them some of the seed packets we sell.

As I worked my head was filled with praise songs and then wandered to metaphors.  No great sermons here...but I want to share some of what I was thinking:

 In the center you can see some great looking tomato plants and rich dark soil.  In the foreground is a tomato plant that never matured.  The leaves have been eaten by ants.  I planted them all as seedlings. They are all the same size at that time.  Each hole that I put them in got both water and some fertilizer.  All of the plants have the same soil, same light, same periodic waterings.  With respect to Jesus' parable of the sower, even some of the seeds that fall on good soil fail to grow.  WHY? I'm glad the ants singled out this one tomato plant instead of all of them.   It's actually in the middle of the row.  The photo just doesn't show the lush tomato growing on its left side. So I wonder why this one was singled out by the ants.  Why did this ONE not grow even in good soil?  Sometimes it is like that with some people in our church.  Some people receive the Bible lessons, the prayers, the worship, the kindness and love of Christian community, all that is "good soil" and still do not grow...and I wonder "why".

 Now I don't pretend to be able to get inside a cucumber plants "head" but it seems that they prefer to lie down. Lying down is ok, but in the past I learned that if they are not trained to climb a fence, they produce many cucumbers that sit on the ground and turn yellow on the bottom or even rot.   So it is preferable  to me to have them grow up a fence which allows the cucumber to get light on all sides.  This means that as they grow and crawl on the ground I have to pick them up and train them to climb the fence by twisting some of their tendrils around the fence wire.  Sometimes when I come back a few days later the weight of the plant has caused them to fall over.  So I once again pick them up, and help their tendrils to take hold of the fence.  I was thinking that this is a lot like raising children, or specifically Sulmi.  Sometimes she would like to do what is the easy thing, but in the end it is not what is good for her or the fruit I hope she eventually produces.  So periodically I have to lift her up and help her to reach high.  Sometimes she would rather not do homework, or go to bed early on a school night.  Sometimes she wants to watch TV that I think is inappropriate because of violent content.  As I was wrapping the tendrils of these young cucumber plants around the fence wire I was praying, "God please help her wrap her arms around your righteousness so that she can grow up to you and take the right path."

May God guide you all and give you the gift of his presence.

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