Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sowing Seeds

Who in the world would plant a garden just days before putting her house on the market, and a mere week before leaving town for most of the summer? Me. I couldn't resist. Planting a garden is pure joy for me. Planting a garden with my Dad is downright sublime!

My Dad has had a garden in every yard he's ever had. He's grown veggies in the rocky Texas dirt, the mushy Oregon mud, and now in the clay-soil of his western Washington home. When I was a kid, I hated doing yard-work, and would never willingly help my Dad in the garden. Now, however, I find nothing more enjoyable than getting my hands in the dirt and working the ground.

Dad and I don't talk too much while we plant--since he taught me everything I know, we go about things the same way and can figure out what the other is doing without having to communicate. But every now and then, like a seedling bursting through the soil, a simple conversation will erupt:

"If you have a garden in France, you'll have to speak a different language to your plants," Dad said, staking out rows for sugar snap peas.

"I do talk to my garden," I mused, somewhat sheepishly as I placed corn seeds in the ground.

"Everyone talks to their garden," Dad said, in almost reverent tones.

I smiled, imagining speaking French to a garden one day. "You know, my kids think that I'm crazy because I talk to the plants in my garden. But I tell them that I'm not crazy until the plants start talking back."

Then, just as comfortably as the conversation began, it ended. And a warm silence took its place. Silence is the perfectest sound in a garden.

So, I sowed seed that I have a slim chance of reaping. Hopefully a new owner of my home will have the joy of the harvest. Actually, that's how it's supposed to work when we sow the seeds of the gospel. The Bible says that one man sows and another man reaps. Perhaps when this garden of veggies is ripe for the picking, I will be off to a harvest of souls. Reaping what I did not sow. In France.

"My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Do you not say, `Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying `One sows and another reaps' is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor." John 4:35-38

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