We have a master gardener who lives next door. James’ idea of a fun thing to do every evening is mow and edge his front yard. He is passionate about his flowers and plants. Spending time at Tulsa’s Linnaeus Teaching Garden has opened his eyes to the possibilities of beautiful things everywhere. This year he decided to have a vegetable garden featuring tomatoes, peppers and strawberries. Of course he added other fruit and vegetables just to see how they would do. His sunflowers were spectacular. We ate some of his tomatoes at supper last night.
He began as a toddler watching from a front window as his father mowed the grass. Soon he started using sticks and brooms to imitate his dad trimming and edging. Someone got him a toy lawn mower. This summer James turned seven. He checks his garden every day—watering, fertilizing, weeding and harvesting. He knows more about my in-ground sprinkler system than I do. He can identify every sprinkler head and its spray pattern. He can diagnose every sprinkler problem and knows how to repair or replace it. He has a personal collection of sprinkler heads in his garage. He keeps asking his parents to get a trencher so he can lay out a sprinkler system of his own. James has a passion and a focus, yet like every kid he loves to act silly, tell jokes, make people laugh and play with his little brother.
James is a remarkable boy because his eyes and heart are open to the beauty and wonder of creation. Our hearts are the garden of our soul. What do you see when you look upon your heart? How well are you tending it? What have you planted within it? How do you nourish it? What needs trimming or weeding or pruning? What is your heart producing today?
Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Look to the Master Gardener. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.
You know that Scripture verse that says, “Consider the lilies of the field how they toil not…”—How come that doesn’t happen in my backyard? We have been working in the flowerbeds around our house. We pulled weeds and grass, planted begonias and marigolds, took pity on the lovely winter pansies and let them stay in full bloom until the heat takes over for good. With much help from our son-in-law, we mulched the six beds and two large flower pots. Our little vegetable garden has the two items I can usually grow: tomatoes and onions. Maybe next year I will add something daring like bell peppers. But if I want tomatoes in July, I must plant them by late April. This year we had some interesting weather, so it was mid-May by the time our tomatoes were planted. Now all I have left is to plant this year’s Easter lilies so they can blossom next spring.
It is the growing season. The grass needs mowing, pollen is blowing, and my eyes keep watering. Beauty is all around us. A large toad lives in my vegetable garden and a smaller one lives out in the front yard. I’ve gone to no expense on insect control. Most nights the neighborhood opossum is digging in the flowerbeds looking for grub worms, and now the community ducks have learned to recognize my car, expecting more birdseed in the dish out back. We have a nest of red finches hatching in the birdhouse on the patio. They do not like us to linger too long outside.
It is the growing season for Christians and churches as well. Easter, Mother’s Day and soon Vacation Bible School all represent the spring/summertime opportunities to work the soil, plant new seed, nurture tender lives, protect the fruit and prepare for the harvest. But there is much for the gardeners to do. How is your garden doing?
Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Help grow your church. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.