Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Divine Gardener

Story:  A woman went into a marketplace, looked around, and saw a sign that read “God’s Fruit Stand.”  “Thank goodness. It’s about time,” the woman said to herself.

She went inside and she said, “I would like a perfect banana, a perfect cantaloupe, a perfect strawberry, and a perfect peach.”  God, who was behind the counter, shrugged and said, “I’m sorry.  I sell only seeds.” (John Shea)

In the northern hemisphere, spring has arrived and is struggling to consistently entertain the warm winds of the south.  With only the slightest caress of a lukewarm breeze upon the face of wannabe gardeners, the garden centers are experiencing “flash mobs” of “earth-mid-wives.” People buy flower or vegetable plants and then invite the challenge of nurturing the plants with just the right amount of water, sunlight, or fertilizer so that one day they will rejoice in their accomplishment of growing their own vegetables and beautiful flowers.  Gardens can be seen in flower boxes outside windows, on rooftops among skyscrapers, and even in large fields shared by a community.

However, God offers us only seeds – this process takes longer, more tending, patience, and the gift of surprise.  I’d like to think that God was the first organic gardener who did not use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.  Organic gardeners think of the whole system – the soil, water supply, the people, wildlife, and even the insects.  Organic gardeners are concerned about building healthy soil and nurturing the connectedness of all things.  And so it is with the Divine Gardener – offering us seeds of hope, integrity, risk, resiliency, dreams, purpose, passion, and call.  It is up to all of us to offer these seeds just the right or best environment for germination so we will carry on the creativity and love of the Divine Gardener – and we need not be perfect at this – just willing!

So what is the Good News for us today?  Let us ponder these quotes:
·         The heart is like a garden. It can grow compassion or fear, resentment or love. What seeds will you plant there?  Jack Kornfield

·         Help us to be ever faithful gardeners of the spirit, who know that without darkness nothing comes to birth, and without light nothing flowers.  May Sarton

·         An ordinary favor we do for someone or any compassionate reaching out may seem to be going nowhere at first, but may be planting a seed we can't see right now. Sometimes we need to just do the best we can and then trust in an unfolding we can't design or ordain. Sharon Salzberg

·         Love is the seed of all hope. It is the enticement to trust, to risk, to try, to go on. Gloria Gaither

·         Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed.  Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders. Henry David Thoreau

Previously posted: May 2012

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