April 7, 2020
I haven’t had a vegetable garden since 2005, when we lived in Maui. Our yard in Honolulu was tiny, and in a place that received over 150 inches of rain annually…not conducive to tomatoes but the papaya were amazing.
Now that we are settled in Woodstock, I have the space for small vegetable garden. I started some seeds indoors a couple weeks ago and got down to the hard work of digging up grass, turning the soil, laying down weed-block fabric, and imagining where each variety of beans, peas, tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, kale, and some decorative blue fescue grass will go. I think of it as my V/2 garden, a sort of victory over virus act of radical hope.
Every day I check on the seeds. The first few days I was mildly disappointed that I could see no evidence of growth. Before long, I became impatient and frustrated, my faith dwindling that anything would grow. I even started to feel afraid that they would never appear, that perhaps I’d messed up somehow. And then, the miracle happened, first with the beans, and then the peas, and now all the carrots, kale, lettuce, and tomatoes are stretching out of the soil towards the sun.
Everything sprouted, that is, except the grass seed. Even though the seed packet said germination in 21 days, I was just about ready to give up on them by day 14. And then, as if they can read and understand English and I can’t, tiny little signs of life appeared.
Jesus said much the same during his last supper, “A little while you will no longer see me, and again a little while and you will see me.” (John 16:16).
Waiting for the end of this season is like waiting for those seeds to sprout, not seeing Jesus. There is growth, roots moving toward water, tiny sprouts reaching for the sun, we just can’t see them yet.
I leave you with these words of Paul, words that always remind me of plants. “I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:16-21)
Hold onto radical hope!