One of my truly “happy places” is out in the garden. I often joke that my garden is my therapy…which is probably more true than I’d like to admit. I find great joy in watching my children run out to the garden and eat something straight from the vine. It delights me to be able to share fresh produce with my neighbors and friends. While there are many aspects to Abba’s House that grab my heart and passion, one of the things I long for most is simply being able to spend more time in the garden. I love making things grow, but I also find the garden to be “fertile soil” for all sorts of lessons about life and faith. Many of Jesus’ parables used farming or gardening as a starting point, and I hope to use the Abba’s House garden to help make many of His teachings take on richer meaning and life for anybody who might take time to consider alongside me.
So, with our move-in date getting closer, we went ahead and planted a winter garden at Abba’s House. Vegetable options are a bit more limited in the cold weather, but we planted lettuce, carrots, turnips, beets, onions, leeks, radishes, spinach, and a variety of herbs. Already, the first plants are starting to pop through! In another 5-6 weeks, we should be able to make our first home-grown Abba’s House salad (well, a bowl full of lettuce, at least…)
Today, as I surveyed the garden after yesterday’s rain, one of those faith lessons played out in front of me. As I walked up to the garden, I saw a small flock of little birds…maybe 15-20 in all, happily walking down the recently planted rows, feasting on any seeds that might be resting on the surface. I quickly grabbed a rock, threw it at them, and watched with satisfaction as they scattered to a neighboring field. It brought to mind a parable that Jesus told of God’s word being like a seed that was planted, and how Satan tries to snatch that word out of a person’s heart so that it doesn’t take hold and begin to grow. If I am zealous in my garden to protect some silly little carrot or turnip seed…how much more will God act to protect the seed of His word that has been planted in our hearts?
I pray simply this: that God’s word would take root in your heart, and that nothing, NOTHING, would ever be able to snatch that away from you. With a bit of time, some tender care, and the miracle of God’s grace, that seed will grow and produce a harvest that will delight you and be a blessing to many. Hopefully we’ll see that same thing in the Abba’s House garden…and in the lives of all those who pass through there. Stop in sometime, and enjoy growing with us.
Planting the first Abba’s House garden — Oct. 2017