Folks who have a green thumb have always impressed me. I have such warm memories of my grandmother Bivens who each summer had a bountiful vegetable garden. She would put the green beans and tomatoes into Mason jars to carry her through the winter months; and oh those pickles she made! Grandmother Lingerfelt amazed us at how she would take just a sliver of a plant and grow a beautiful new specimen. In my yard is a cutting of a cutting of a cutting from one of her hydrangea bushes. It is very special to me.
My husband has the gift of gardening as do both of my sisters. Sadly, I don’t have the gift but I do like to think about it –what it must feel like to prepare the soil, put the seed or young plant into the hole that’s been dug and then carefully cover it with cool, rich dirt. I think of how the gardener tends the garden and, when the season comes, his excitement of seeing the fruit of his labor!
With the coming of spring farmers have begun preparing their fields. Seeing the freshly tilled soil reminds me of another kind of gardening; that those of us who belong to the Lord have been given to do. Planting this garden doesn’t require a green thumb, only willingness, commitment and obedience.
We’ve been given all the tools we need. We turn the rocky soil of a wounded heart with the tiller of compassion. The seeds are sown with words of kindness. We make way for the tender sprouts of new life by pulling the weeds of bitterness with acts of love and grace. We water with words of hope, prune with encouragement and keep away the insects that destroy the tender plants with our prayers.
And when we’ve done all, the harvest comes and the Lord of the harvest is well pleased.