I love spring, I love the beauty of flowers peeking out, I love the smell of fresh earth in a garden, I love the sunshine. Spring has a kind of smell to it, a kind of freshness to the air. It speaks of earth and growth and life. Makes me want to plant something!
Unfortunately, limited to a small apartment without even a patio, I don’t really have much room to try out my green thumb, and in truth its more black thumb than green. So last year, and again this year, I’ve been at least attempting some herbs on my kitchen windowsill.
I’ll admit I think I overwatered them last year, or something, at any rate they died.
But I’m trying again, I figure as long as I keep trying, my black thumb might eventually turn green!
Pretty sure the Basil hasn’t been getting enough water, pretty sure the mint and rosemary have been getting to much!
At any rate, the other day I was looking at my little plants, and I saw the mint leaves pressing against my window.
Now that window isn’t really very sunny, but I don’t really have much in the way of direct sunshine to offer, and it isn’t like I can pick up the entire apartment building and turn it so I can give the poor things some sun. On top of that it has been a bit cloudy the last few day. Not much light.
As I looked at these little plants, leaning in, leaning out, reaching for the sun, it impressed so firmly on my heart.
Am I reaching for the Son?
Plants, they constantly reach for the light, turning their leaves as the son passes over them. We tend to see them as things that grow but have no other kind of movement or choice in the growing, but that isn’t so. They are always reaching higher, always focused on that light, always turning towards their source.
Am I like that? Am I always pressing in for more of Christ?
“Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.” Mark 4:3-8
A lesson in gardening from Christ?
As you read the passage you learn that the seeds represent people and how they receive the Word of God. The state of the soil is the state of their hearts. Good soil produces growth.
What produces good soil?
How can I be the kind of soil that can receive Him deeply, and strongly, and produce a crop ever reaching for the Son?
A gardener knows, a gardener like my mother, who I have seen lovingly nurturing little plants all my life. She tried to teach me at times the art of it, but so often I was to busy running around with my own things to do. Hence now the black thumb!
Soil must be nurtured before you ever nurture a crop. It must be tilled, mulched, it must have nutrients from various sources turned into it. It must be broken, softened.
In a sense, The Gardener must come, and break my heart.
Does that sound strange? Harsh? But so often in this walk I’ve found that it requires a breaking. Like the cuts needed when you are grafting a branch onto a new vine. I am being cut, I am being grafted, so that I can live and reach for the light.
And so, daily, I lean in. I lean in in prayer, I lean into the Word, I lean into the light, sometimes it seems dim, but I know He’s there. My whole life becomes a focus, ever turning my face to Him, ever gazing on Christ.
And because He broke, and He tilled, and He placed His truths deep inside, I grow, and I reach, and I lean in to the light.