Pumpkins, Weeds

IMG_3838The pumpkins seeds the Tabor teens planted on a cool April morning are now plants with huge leaves and dozens of light orange blossoms. Nine green and growing pumpkins are attached to the several vines that began at the back of the library garden and now flow several feet beyond its border.

In another part of the learning garden, crab grass is trying to choke the life out of pansies and peppers. Sunny days and timely rain fall on the just and unjust alike – feeding the weeds as well as the flowers and vegetables.

I spend a couple of hours each week pulling weeds and tending the pumpkin patch. Both sections of the garden are full of life – one full of unwanted growth, the other overflowing with more bounty than I’d ever imagined.

When the weeds are pulled, I drop them in my blue bucket and haul them to the compost pile at the far corner of the library grounds. They join the grass clippings, decomposing leaves, and shrub trimmings. They aren’t much good at the moment, but in time they will break down into a compost that will nourish the garden – fertilizer that strengthens rather than weeds that weaken. Nothing is useless, nothing forever a weed.

I hope the same may be true of the weedy selfishness and choking ignorance that grow in my heart…

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Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

4 thoughts on “Pumpkins, Weeds”

  1. What an image comes to me of God tending the Learning Garden of our lives knowing that weeds must be there lest we think we can grow into the full beauty of our beings all by our own hand.

    1. That’s a wonderful image, Bill! God’s help with weeding is such a necessity – I wish I’d thought to add it more fully to this blog entry! Peace, Johnna

      1. Wow–the verse of the day on one of my Bible apps is from James 1:21 (MSG): “Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.”

        1. Wow, Bill. That’s a perfect summary of the post. Thanks for bringing it to the blog! Peace, Johnna

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