Summer’s here! Technically: though in these parts, it’s still feeling March-ish with the cloud-cover to sun ratio still substantially in favor of the clouds. People are getting their gardens in, posting pictures online of their burgeoning (and potentially drowning) crops. We have a small garden: a couple of beds modeled after the square-foot gardening technique. One bed is a carryover from last year. My husband built an additional “adult” bed and two “kids” beds which the boys got to help with. The other day my eldest came running in: “Mama! Mama!”
“Mama, did you know?”
I never thought my heart would skip a beat to hear such words. In the past I could care less about growing things, and in fact, only had luck at keeping a sucker-fish alive. But since my role has morphed into a Manager of Consumption, I find myself more concerned about food – where it comes from, how it’s grown, what the cost of that food is – to eat and to grow. My creative side enjoys tending to the harvest: what sorts of berries should we stock up on to make smoothies or cobblers with this year? What color of peppers should we grow?
I told a friend of my son’s excitement. He shared his own story about getting his kids excited about weeding. “I asked them (in an excited voice) ‘Do you guys want some strawberries?!!’ They went tearing outside to our strawberry bed, but there were no berries: just plants and weeds. I told them that they needed to get rid of the weeds if they wanted those berries to show up, so they started working away!”
He noted that if people share a “hatred” of gardening, it seems to be in regards to one thing: “My parents always made me weed.” But when people (kids) could have ownership over then entire process, from picking the types of produce to grow, to prepping and planting, to seeing them sprout and encouraging new growth, to weeding and eventually harvesting and eating, they enjoyed it so much more.
This friend was our teacher in Sunday School for the month of May. He shared on the idea: “What is Truth?” or rather “How is Truth?” and “What does Truth taste like?”, exploring whether or not our concept/experience of truth is anemic (restricted to ideas) or more robust (people, places, feelings, a person – Christ, etc.). We ended talking about soil in comparison to our spiritual lives: the quality, the types. If our soil (like Truth) is anemic, our lives/fruit reflect that.
I thought about our previous conversation of weeding, how when it’s removed from the full experience and focused on as the sole task, people believe they hate gardening. What’s a thing we hear complained a lot about in regards to Christianity? Sin management. Without the church helping to give a full picture/ownership over the process, it’s just weeding, but sins instead of invasive greenery. I hope to live in a space where I hear people exclaiming “Guess what? My lettuce/patience/endurance/love is growing!” and to have my heart skip a beat in joy.