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Growing Strawberries and Lessons in the Garden
We may not realize the legacy we leave behind us..
I often think of God and life while I am out tending my garden. This doesn't surprise me as I've learned as the more I study the Bible, there are an abundance of parables and stories about sowing and planting seeds, reaping, harvesting and the growing of fruits and vegetables. Today as I was out gardening at our local church garden plot, it was another one of those special days that a powerful analogy was given to me through an unlikely source... by a stranger and the story of her remarkable strawberries.
A lesson with a message of love, grace and and the gift of hope. A story about the strawberry stranger and the legacy that she left behind in a garden...
The Strawberry Rescue
In my first hub about the Community Church of Hayward victory garden, I described how the 600 sq. foot plot was filled with weeds - and how much work getting this plot of land cleared was going to be. Almost discouraging if I looked at it from my own human perspective. Luckily for me I knew though that this garden was a gift from God and was meant not only to to exist - but to thrive. I knew without a doubt that somehow, someway this garden would not only get weeded but a real garden would get planted.
How or where that would happen I had no idea though...
Weeks came and went and it turned out that I hadn't been able to get anything growing in the plot yet. My morale was a little low because I knew I was getting started late on planting.
Looking at the lonely plot just filled with dirt and weeds was causing me to get a little depressed...and a little sad that I had nothing growing.
But God, in his infinite wisdom and timing, gave me renewed hope through the seeds of a strawberry stranger that had come before me...
One day while I was out weeding, I found out why our former plot owner had not come back to tend to her garden. My neighbor shared with me that the lady before us had gotten cancer and had become very ill. She also told me that the ladies strawberries were among the weeds if I looked carefully towards the bottom of the dirt patch. My neighbor showed me approximately where the strawberries would be, and told me that if I wanted to keep them I should be careful not to pull them out.
Sure enough, stooping down to examine between the weeds, there were little strawberry leaves peering out of the ground. The struggling leaves were barely poking out of the neglected dirt, tiny faces trying to poke though where the weeds threatened to choke them out. Had I not had this fortunate discussion with my new neighbor, I definitely would have missed them. Lucky rescue I thought at the time, not realizing that these little strawberries had much more to teach me...
The Row of Strawberries
A Sneak Peak at one of the Biggest Strawberries
My Strawberry Treasure
Finding those strawberries were like finding lost treasure for me that day. I was so excited that something besides weeds were growing in the plot. I found my waning energy returning. I carefully worked my way around the newly discovered strawberries... weeding carefully among the emerging leaves. I ended up saving about 10 or so budding strawberry plants.
They were pretty little but they had hope...
So the weeks passed...and they grew...little by little...just like my faith...
And as I approached the plot to water today, I stood and stared at the sight before me.
Before me were the most beautiful row of strawberries I had ever seen.
Not only were the strawberries flourishing but they were absolutely THRIVING... and as I stood there I thought about the woman before me that had planted these lovely morsels of Gods creation. I marveled at the thought of this unknown stranger who didn't even know of the wonderful gift of hope she had given me this day. I thought too about the odd fact that we might never meet, yet something that she had done so long ago had touched me today in such a remarkable way.....giving me renewed hope right at the time when I needed it...
A powerful testimony of hope that this woman had unknowingly left to me ... the lesson of a strangers seed sowing which had caused another stranger to reap ...
Then came the the realization that we humans don't even understand the impact we may have on another's life....how each one of us "sow seeds" around us everyday - directly and indirectly... That the things we say or don't say may change another's life, or the things that we do or don't do may also change a persons life, for better or worse.
How small things that seem insignificant to us may carry a powerful message to someone else, like these strawberries did for me today...
And I especially thought about how those weeds had tried to choke out those beautiful strawberries but had not succeeded...just like the weeds of this world that try to choke the beauty out of us...but how godly intervention and kind neighbors can save us....
My prayer? I hope that one day, when I have passed on, that something I said or did made a positive impression on someones else's life.....that the seeds I sowed here on earth shine a light for someone else...perhaps it could be a kind word I've said, a reciprocating smile or something as simple as an ordinary strawberry seed. Perhaps it could be this hub.
(Dorsi Diaz is a freelance writer)
All About Strawberries
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