Saturday, July 09, 2011

Good soil

Image from blog: HeartReach.

A long time ago, I planted a small 6 foot by 6 foot garden at an apartment complex I and my family were living in. The caretakers for the grounds told me that the soil was impeded by a complete layer of clay about 8 inches under the top soil. If I did not remove the clay from my garden plot, my tomatoes, zucchini and morning glories would have no chance of growing.

So, upon taking the caretaker's advice about the clay, I proceeded to dig up the topsoil and grass. As they had told me, the clay layer was fully blocking access to the soil beneath it. All day long I chipped and dug and removed wheelbarrow-full, by wheelbarrow-full of clay out of my small plot of land. At the end of that day, I was soaked with sweat, but I knew I was making progress to break through to good soil.

After all the top soil and clay that had been removed; it was necessary for me to refill the 6x6 plot back in with about ten bags of gardening soil. The soil was filled in. my starter seeds were planted and the time of waiting and weeding began.

Every morning I watered the plants, wound the morning glories around the fence as they grew and watched for signs of growth and eventually blooms that promised a reward of harvest.

Over the weeks of preparation, many people told me my garden would never grow. "Why are you bothering with all this work for a few vegetables?", my neighbors would exclaim.

It was a great deal of labor, but on the morning I found blossoms on the tomato and zucchini plants I thought all the work was worth it. That summer, I enjoyed those vegetables so much. It was exciting to see that growth was possible, when the right combination of care, nurture, persistence, and good soil are placed in that tiny vegetable patch.

Good soil is so very important to vegetables, as well as for the human soul. As I ponder the quality of my own soil, I often come across clay barriers, top soil filled with weeds and neighbors that don't believe anything good could ever be seen in life. The voice of dissonance is not always coming from my "neighborhood", but from my own thoughts, actions and lips as well.

" Good soil to feel welcome, good soil to go home, good soil is the place I can grow..."

"God my loving creator, work out the plot of my life.
Dig past the weeds, use your spade of love to break past the hard clay that blocks growth.
Reach to the deep, rich soil of my tilled heart and plant the seeds you see me fit to produce to a harvest of faith, hope and love."

Matthew 13:18-23 "Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty."