Monday, September 7, 2015

Harvesting the crop

Two large black bags are stuffed in the garbage can at our daughter's house, filled with withering plants, the last vestiges of dirt clinging to their shallow roots. Yesterday, my daughter and I spent a sweaty afternoon together, talking, laughing, and harvesting the remains of her garden, mostly wilted and overgrown at this point.  Her garden was fargone, ready for a season to rest.

We saved the green pepper plants as they were still struggling to produce, but the remainder of the garden was ready for summer to be over.  Gangly and unruly tomato plants  hung over their wire cages, tired and bored.  A few ripening tomatoes were rescued, which we lined up on her outside table to redden on their own.  The lettuce and squash plants produced nothing all season, just taking up space.  The okra plant stood tall and barren, a few large woody pods clinging useless on the stalk. And a late starting poblano pepper plant grasped the chicken wire fence as if trying to compete in a race long over.  Weeds had begun to creep in from the edges.

It was Hannah's first attempt at a garden, her first opportunity to have a yard outside her window instead of a steamy asphalt parking lot. And so, in the dirt lining her back walkway, she planted a variety of vegetables, surrounding the plants with chicken wire to keep her dog from digging them up and planting cheery yellow marigolds on the perimeter to discourage the neighborhood rabbits.

We enjoyed peppers and fresh tomatoes all summer as she had more than she could possibly use.

She learned a lot this summer about what works best and how to provide enough space to grow.  There will be another garden next year filled with new plants, fresh possibilities, and lots of experience.

But had she not planted, there would have been no crops at all and only weeds.  She planted.  She watered.  And God gave the growth.

She really didn't know what to expect, but she planted as best she knew how.  And God redeemed her efforts.

What am I sowing?  What actions, what words, and the biggest crop of all -- my attitudes?  That which produces fruit or weeds?

That which is fruitful doesn't just come up on its own.

The point is this:
he who sows sparingly
    will also reap sparingly,
and he who sows bountifully
will also reap bountifully.
                 2 Corinthians 9. 6

Each day,
each relationship,
every opportunity,
        is a tender garden
for His glory.

Excuse me a minute. I have some seeds to sow
and some weeds to pull.

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