24 Apr

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” ~ Audrey Hepburn

I saw this quote and immediately thought of three things:  my dad, spring, and Easter.  My dad was a gardener.  A master gardener.  Almost to the point of being a farmer!  My dad loved gardens, vegetable as well as flower.  Our driveway would be lined with milkweed (to attract butterflies) and chrysanthemums of all varieties.  The “middle yard” — between the house and the garage — would showcase his peonies and gladiolas.  The back yard had all sorts of flowering bushes and trees, especially snowball bushes, lilacs, and magnolias.  It was something to behold and I looked forward to the sights and smells every year.  His vegetable garden was just as comparable with all things edible (and able to be canned).

I also thought of spring when I saw this quote.  Every spring, the earth seems to wake up from the slumber of winter and tantalizes us with colors and smells.  It gives us a promise of luxuriant summers.  And, of course, I thought of Easter because of all the flowers associated with the feast.  I love lilies.  When I see them around the altar, my heart soars (even if my head hurts from the pressure exerted by my sinuses from the allergic reaction to the pollens.)  The beauty is inescapable.

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”  What a lovely thought.  Yes, when we plant a garden, we look ahead to what can be, what will be.  We plant in confidence, knowing what will come about.  We wait with joyful anticipation as we nurture the growing seeds, plants, and flowers.

However, the quote, to me, does not speak merely about plants.  We “plant gardens” in other kinds of ways as well.  When we teach a child or teen a new skill, we plant hope in that person.  We show the child or teen that something more is possible in life.  We give hope and instill dreams.

We plant gardens when we visit the sick or shut in.  We let them know that they still have value.  We give them something to which they can look forward.  When family and friends may have drifted away or, in the case of the very elderly, predeceased them, we give them the hope and assurance that they have not been forgotten.

We plan gardens in all sorts of ways.  When we plant our gardens, we are responsible for our work.  Sometimes we have to go back into the garden and pull weeds.  Sometimes we have to supply fertilizer or pesticides.  Sometimes we have to prune.  Sometimes we have to lovingly and tenderly arrange things.  We need to make the garden a priority and let it become more than how it began.

Each year, my dad probably had a thought about how his yard was going to look.  His vision caused him to do the work that was necessary in order to come to fruition.  I cannot help but think that, each year, he was pleased to see that his gardens became even more than what he imagined.

Imagine planting the word of God and the hope of resurrection in another person.  Imagine tending that seed.  Imagine pruning and fertilizing and nurturing the new growth.  Imagine it becoming a very real part of you with pride and joy.

Imagine beginning that garden this very day.

FAITH ACTIONWhat are you going to do today to instill in others a hope for tomorrow?