The Reality of Gardening


It’s hard to be romantic about gardening as we enter August.  The lush green Hostas of May which had soaked up the ample Spring rains are now dry leafed.  The squirrels have enjoyed more of my tomatoes than I have.  I imagine the garden crying out, “My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.” (Ps. 22:15) The mowing crew stirs up more dust in the backyard than tops of grass being sliced off.

The thorns and thistles of Genesis 1 hangs more heavily in the air than the visionary hopes of Rev. 22 with the tree of life yielding twelve kinds of fruit with leaves the heals the nations.

We hope for the grace of rain to fall like the word of the Lord freshening up the abused plants even as the grace of the word refreshes our lives.  We hope for the grace of rain so that the squirrels can find another source for thirst quenching drink than the juice in my still green tomatoes.

The gospel lessons for the last three Sundays have been from Matthew 13.  How fitting that all of them contain parables Jesus told and all of them are based in the world of agriculture.  A sower went out to sow and some seed failed and some yielded a hundredfold.  A man sowed seeds and then at night an enemy sowed weed seeds. A man sows mustard seed.  Where I come from mustard was wild invasive weed.  A treasure is hidden in a field.

Perhaps I need to look more closely at my crying garden to see the parables they are telling.

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