Christianity, Gardening, Recovery, Service Organizations, Spirituality, Uncategorized

Connections

I apologize in advance for any errors in this morning’s post. My “editor” is out of pocket this morning. It’s difficult to edit myself, but I wanted to get this morning’s thoughts out there. I hope you understand…

I’m a little “bum-fuzzled” this morning. Margaret was up early this morning to accompany our nephew and his wife to their final custody hearing at the court in Dallas. It threw a wrench into our (and of course, “my”) daily routine. I’m constantly amazed to find that I’ve become such a creature of habit. I’ve always thought of myself as somewhat spontaneous in spirit, but as I grow older, quite the opposite is true. I’m becoming my father. That’s not such a bad thing, mind you. My Dad was a loving and wise man who found joy and freedom in structure. I’m not sure how I feel about it though…

Margaret has a rough time in the mornings. She normally eases into the morning, allowing her body to adjust from sleeping to waking and moving about. It takes a lot of strength, perseverance, and determination to overcome the pain she suffers upon awakening to an early schedule. I’m reminded how much I love my wife and what an example she is for me. If someone needs her, she’s there regardless, of painful physical obstacles. I hope that I can be as self-less and loving as she is. I’m a better man because of my wife. Sometimes, I feel she was short-changed in this deal. Grace is truly a wonderful thing…

Anyway, I admit I’m a little scattered this morning. I pray gentle reader, that my thoughts are somewhat coherent. I had a couple of cups of coffee and some time to regroup my faculties, so here goes…

Over the last several weeks I’ve been blessed to be working with a local non-profit on an urban garden project. Although they are not a faith-based organization, I’ve had a good look at how ecological stewardship and community-building works in God’s world, in his kingdom. I could’ve have missed it if I relegated them to “just” another secular organization. Sometimes I think good Christian folks could learn a great deal from people who simply help others without regard to their religious belief or lack thereof.

I’m grateful that my consulting work has introduced me to a group of people, believers, who truly are workers in God’s kingdom. They don’t preach with words. They preach with action. They love others and plant seeds – literally. As a result, they have an incredible harvest with an abundance of fresh produce and fresh hearts. It seems I’ve heard that parable before…

So, I’d like to give a shout-out and a thank you to the folks at Bonton Farms in Dallas. I could write all day about stewardship and service in God’s kingdom. I’d like to show you how it works instead. I encourage you to visit their website at www.bontonfarms.org and see for yourself the transformation taking place in the lives of individuals and the community there.

“The kingdom is like…” It’s like Bonton. It’s like recovery. It’s like a mustard seed or a wee bit of yeast…

I always loved parables – wisdom coming from ordinary, everyday things, and situations. My favorite ones are the “kingdom is like” stories that draw on nature. I’ve found recovery, and hence my faith, is like a tiny seed that transforms into something bigger and better, bearing a great harvest. That tiny seed some wonderful people planted in me is growing, and I pray I bear better fruit today; that my actions are attractive and appealing to others.

What really strikes me over the last few weeks is the connection between people that takes place from the simple act of planting a seed. I saw it at Bonton Farms and I’ve seen it in the gardens I’ve been honored to work with in the past. Something about tending the soil and allowing God to produce the harvest has a profound effect on the people involved. The food and the flowers are important. They improve people’s lives by their simple taste and beauty. What’s really important, though, is that by connecting with the soil, we begin to connect with one another.

The kingdom really is like  a tiny mustard seed…

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