Once upon a time, I decided it was a good idea to have a garden, despite knowing nothing more about gardening than the average preschooler. Seeds, right? Some soil, some sun and rain…wait a while, something will grow, won’t it?
How hard can it be?
Unfortunately, there’s a lot that can go wrong, and my first attempts resulted in less than abundant harvests. I remember my very first cherry tomatoes- two of them! I was so excited. That year, other than the pair of tiny tomatoes, all we got was a somewhat decent basil plant. Everything else perished from heat, bugs or neglect.
Since then, I’ve learned a little about gardening, and my plants have been more and more successful. Still, though, nothing about gardening makes me as anxious as those first weeks between seeds in ground and seedlings above ground…when all there is to see is brown, bare dirt.
Some seasons in parenting feel like that, too.
The places that will eventually bear fruit in our children aren’t always obvious. Sometimes, nurturing children feels like tending a little bare spot of earth for a very long time. I come back to check on it, carefully pull any weeds that have come up, gently water the earth, and stare at it.
Brown, lifeless and dusty is how it sometimes looks to me…but who knows what’s stirring below the surface?
Who indeed. God knows what is going on under there, hidden under a protective cover of unimpressive earth, waiting for the right moment to come up and show itself. There is a lot that we can’t see from our vantage point above the surface.
All those things, though, the things we can’t see, are what we hold onto in faith.
And one day, maybe when we least expect it, maybe when we’ve almost forgotten what we planted there in the first place…one morning, as we round the corner to do something completely unrelated, we’ll see it- that breathtaking, almost-invisible hint of green peeking up- a tiny sign of hope that makes the heart spring up with joy.
Copyright 2015 Abbey Dupuy.
Image copyright 2015 Abbey Dupuy. All rights reserved.