The term “gardener” is an active word. It calls for one to continually work at the craft.
Yesterday morning, I took a brief stroll through the gardens that surround the parsonage. In doing so, I saw wonders for the discerning eye.
New plants are pushing up out of the earth. I am especially interested to see how the Siberian Iris does. I must be patient. Their blooms are well worth the wait. When I witness them unfolding I will share the good news.
Each year the landscape of the gardens change. I am in the habit of trying new things to see how they grow. Last year, this included a variety of native buckwheat. It developed in ways I hadn’t anticipated.
There are plants that are divided and transplanted. I did this a few weeks ago with a small lilac. Part of it had died in the winter we had a couple of years back. The surviving portion struggled to prosper. Now, it is new life from death.
I took the time to tape over holes in the metal structure that was built over the south side garden. I did so with weatherproof foil tape. It was a mild winter. There likely will be more wasps this summer and I wish for them to build their nests elsewhere. They do eat insect pests though. Some things can be both beneficial and troublesome, a mixed blessing.
For a garden to reach its full potential there needs to be proper tending.
I am a Christian. For me, this means that “I know the answer is Jesus.” It is a given. I believe that you already know that I know this answer; and everything flows from this quite naturally.
Instead, my thing is “now what?” That’s why I write in this manner. It is to show that religion and spirituality should not be compartmentalized. There are opportunities to see the landscape differently — through a lens of faith.
Gardening also serves as a metaphor for me. It describes the many blessings and challenges that may come with an active faith; however, it does take “new eyes” to see through this lens.
Each paragraph above is an unfinished parable describing aspects of such faith. Insert yourself into each of them. See if one or more may apply to your life in Christ, ask questions, struggle, celebrate, and see where they may lead.
May your faith grow, prosper and blossom.
Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and has served as parish pastor for 30 years.