It's summertime and gardening has been experiencing a comeback in popularity. This resurgence has visited the Andrews home. We now have two garden boxes in the backyard. We are growing the requisite cherry tomatoes, green beans and summer zucchini squash among other green plants. I'm told that this is good for the boys and the family. (Perhaps even good for the dog when the boys spray him with the hose when watering!)
I do not like gardening. I'm actually being polite about my disdain of the act of gardening, because I really don't like it. One might even label my feelings as hate. This might shock some of you who love gardening, and I am not judging your hobby. For me, gardening is not fun.
When I was growing up, we would be punished by working in the garden. I remember weeding in the spring and becoming so tired of the amount of weeds. I would take the hoe to chop up the weeds; getting blisters on my hands after using the tools. Mid-summer weeding sessions resulted in gnats flying up my nose and into my eyes and mosquitoes chewing on my ankles. These are the memories of my childhood. I did not engage in this activity willingly. Often times, my time in the garden was a result of an indiscretion of mine. Yes, the garden was often my punishment for those youthful indiscretions.
So, why would I garden as an adult? Why did I transport 20 some bags of dirt to my backyard to begin something I have no interest in? My kids. I love those little guys and want the boys to experience a little bit of everything. It's because of this love, I do things that I would never do under my own choices for my family.
Here's the rub. The love I show my family should be shown to all. Jesus teaches us to love another as one's self. Then in the ultimate sacrificial act, Christ gave up his life for our sins. If I am honest with myself, would I garden for a stranger? Would I love that annoying driver driving too slow in the passing lane? How do I treat a stranger and would I at least welcome interactions with that stranger? If I am honest, I fall short of this more often than not.
So, this summer, let's work on gardening for our families and strangers. Our world needs us to be these beacons of love.
Enjoy the summer,