When I Don't Trust Myself
This will be the first season in eight years we have not planted a garden. I removed the mostly-rotten lumber from our raised beds, replacing one bed with fresh wood for the soon-to-be new homeowners of this patch of land. I hope they enjoy it. I hope they notice its personality and can hear what it will teach them.
I've spent time in silence on this land, in this house, thanking it for the family it's reared. God is in this place. We've known it, even when we haven't paid much attention.
Volunteers from seasons past spring through the surface of the soil. It is good soil. Vining spinach. Asparagus. I remember when we brought them home from the nursery and laid them in their beds. That blueberry bush is still the same size it was eight years hence. I think the soil needs to be more acidic. I didn't pay enough attention.
I believe it was Eugene Peterson who said that he doesn't trust a minister who doesn't have a garden. I don't know why he said that, but I know that I don't trust myself when I'm not gardening. It means I'm moving too fast. I'm not paying attention. I've forsaken the Sabbath. I'm out of touch with the soil.
I don't see many churches with gardens these days.
I see lots of church conferences. I see lots of important pastors. Dadgummit, I see lots of important pastors. Pastors without gardens. Pastors without flocks. Pastors with crowds. Pastors with platforms. But, not so many pastors with gardens. Pastors with sheep.
I'm still looking for a patch of land that will raise my family in our soon-to-be homeland of Florida. I hope we'll be worthy of that good land when we find it. I hope we'll let it raise us. That we'll pay attention. Put down roots. That we'll be worthy of it.
I hope we'll smell like the soil. I pray we'll smell like sheep.