My gardening dream came true this week. I asked my father-in-law last week if there was any room to grow a tomato plant or two in their backyard (which is beautiful I might add). Thinking if there was any extra space I could use, it would be small at best, I thought the answer would be a "maybe". I was pleasantly surprised that he actually pointed to the right-hand side of the yard where it is over-grown with weeds and said I could have that entire side! Last year they planted more roses on that side, so I thought it just needed to be cleaned up again and that the roses were still alive. He informed me that they didn't make it, so if I was willing to do the work, I could plant a little garden! My heart seriously screamed with delight! There are also two smaller planters in the middle of the yard that he said I was free to use also! SCORE!!
So I asked Matt if my valentines’ gift could be some gardening stuff and he said I could get what I liked... double score! Sunday after church, we headed off to Lowes in search of some organic vegetable plants. To my dismay, I would have to wait a month. I decided I couldn't wait that long and that I'd grow from seed myself! I did however get some herb plants for one of the center planters. I got Parsley, mint, chocolate mint, sage, rosemary, basil, lavender, thyme and German Chamomile (tea time!!). I ordered the seed online a few months ago, but decided to just do half grown plants. Now back to seeds... ha ha. Organic please?
As I planted my seeds in small, indoor planters, I couldn't help but notice that each plant has special sowing instructions. Both hot and sweet peppers like heat, moist (but not wet) soil and all day sun, Zucchini likes lots of water, food and 6 hours of sun, green bean seeds have to be soaked overnight before planting and can't be planted outside until the indoor plant is 6 inches tall...etc...
Of course that made me think of the term "planting a seed in someone’s heart". No wonder the Bible used the seed as an example. The human heart and God mimics the relationship of seed and soil. Some hearts thrive when cared for one way and others another way. It made me think of how many seeds I've so carelessly sown, without caring for the heart of the person I shared God's love for. Leaving them to figure out how to get water without assistance. There is also a time to sow. This is why friendship evangelism weighs so heavily on my heart. I think some people aren't ready to accept God. So when the issue is forced, it can leave a relationship strained. If I plant a seed in the wrong season, it's less likely to grow or flourish. While I don't hide my relationship with God, I try not to scare people off with information they're not ready for.
When you harvest fruit, you can tell if it's ready when you can pull it off with a gentle tug. If you have to force it off the tree or the vine, it's not ripe for harvest. When I mention Christ to someone and they back away from the topic, they're not ready. So I can A. Keep tugging and potentially scare them off or B. let it go and continue to love them and be myself and pray for them. Of course there are those low-maintenance "seeds" that you can scatter and they'll grow in the strangest of conditions. However, that is quite rare.
So I guess my lesson was if I'm going to sow seeds, I better be prepared to care for them.