By Jeanne Takenaka
Who knew that in my mid-forties, this city-girl would fall in love with gardening? I’ve considered planting a garden for a few years now, but something always prevents me.
Last week, a friend offered me some tomato plantings and seeds. As I thought about her offer, an idea took shape. I stopped by the nearby hardware store and purchased some rectangular planters and soil. Our yard doesn’t have a space ready for these offerings, but I could begin some container gardening.
Excited, and filled with questions for my friend, I prepared my modified garden. This weekend, I planted the seeds and some flowers. Got the tomatoes into their new home-sweet-home. Just in time for the afternoon rain showers to water them.
Running my hands in the soil, arranging flowers and seeds “just so,” it lightened my spirit. I can’t wait to see them grow, and to watch Peter’s and Edmund’s anticipation as zucchinis, cucumbers and green onions sprout. No one is too old—or too young—to have a sense of wonder about new life.
There’s beauty found in the simplicity of giving life to something. Those seeds would be just fine if left in the envelope they came in. But, look at the possibilities that open up when I take them out, prepare a small hole in the soil, drop the seed in and cover it up?
With sunlight and water, those seeds give life to zucchini, cucumbers and green onions. Zucchini bread made with what I grew could be just a couple months away.
The tomato plantings my friend gave me? Without water and room to grow, they would die. But give these small plants what they need to grow and they produce beautiful and tasty results!
Isn’t the same true in our lives? God gives us each gifts and talents. We can let them lay sealed and unfed within us. Or, we can plant them into the soil of our hearts. We can can ask God to water them and shine His light onto those seeds, those dreams, those talents.
We can take a step of faith and begin practicing the gift God’s given us.
Some seeds never quite sprout and grow the way they’re designed to. Either because they didn’t get enough water, or they were buried too deep. Encouragement can be a great nourishment for those seeds within us. Without it, that gift or talent will probably wither too, dying slowly from disuse.
The great thing about those seeds planted in hearts, is that God uses us to be water and sun in other people’s lives. If we share a kind word, an uplifting comment, it can be sunlight in an otherwise dark day for someone.
I don’t know about you, but I want to be more aware of those around me. My eyes open to opportunities to water the seeds in the hearts of others. Wouldn’t it be special to know God used us to help produce a garden of fruit in another’s life?
What about you? What activity presses your happy button? When has someone encouraged you? How have you encouraged someone recently?