As a gardener (not always successful!), I find much spiritual nurture in digging in the dirt, caring for plants both hardy and failing. My garden is a sanctuary where there are souls to nurture and save, including my own.
I am reminded of Jesus' parable in Luke 13:6-9 (lectionary reading for the Third Sunday in Lent, Year C):
"A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none.
So he said to the gardener, 'See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?'
replied, 'Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it.
If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down."
Gardening requires generosity of spirit
willingness to invest in unlikely specimens
seeing potential where another sees failure
like God who patiently nurtures
without being certain of the outcome
but does not back away from the challenge.
God's takes chance after chance on us,
playing against the cynic's house,
not listening to the naysayers and gossips
prattling on about sin and lost causes-
she must have sinned a lot to be so sick,
hurricanes are because men marry men,
Muslims and Mexicans are mostly terrorists-
casting judgments around like rice
s leaving church.
When we fret about or proclaim divine judgment,
it is good to remember God's mercy-
sinners are always in the hands
of a loving God, despite what Jonathan Edwards wrote long ago
and those who today feel the need to tell God to punish
all those other than themselves who break rules
they tell God to make for our good.
The Master Gardener
knows when our roots are dried out
our leaves shriveled and trunks falling
down, provides spiritual fertilizer
and living water-spigots are everywhere
always in the on position
no need to put coins in
just pray and drink deeply
from the flow that never ends.