It’s Gardening Season!Posted April 6th, 2011
by Ernest Jones
Have you made your plans for this spring’s garden?
“How am I supposed to grow a garden? Did you forget that I am blind?” I hear someone ask.
There was one enjoyment I refused to give up as my eyesight faded. That was gardening. Taking care of a garden, whether a small plot of flowers or a large family-sized vegetable garden, not only provides good exercise but also creates a healthy sense of pride. Maybe it is just my need to prove to the community that blindness shouldn’t stop me from enjoying life. I find that work in a garden relaxes me mentally and gives me a great lift even if I might have some sore muscles as a result.
In the beginning, our Lord placed the first couple in a garden and their job was to care for it. In my mind, I can see large fruit hanging abundantly from the trees—and not one with a worm in it. The trees produced continually while sweet peas and roses—with no thorns—filled the air with their sweet fragrance. Strawberries and blackberries grew beside grapevines laden with their delicious fruit. It was so lovely with no thorns or stickers, bugs or worms. Watermelon vines and sweet squash rambled across the ground and climbed into the trees.
Taking a break from my work one day last summer, I sat on one of my raised garden beds to consider what God had given me. My hand rested on a watermelon that later we would find to weigh twenty-four pounds. I knew the large tomatoes would be sweet, juicy, and tender—so much better than the ones found in the super markets. Carrots, spinach, and lettuce would continue to produce until frost, while the onions and potatoes were in their final stage of maturity.
I thought back to early in the spring when our large yard was literally full of hundreds of beautiful daffodils that we gladly shared with friends. The Crown Imperials that I had babied so tenderly years before had multiplied and now provided a beautiful backdrop for the daffodils. These golden beauties provide the medicine needed to lift one’s spirit after a long dreary winter.
As I sat in this peaceful spot, partially shaded by cornstalks and pole beans, where I could also breathe in the sweet fragrance from the nearby lilies, I silently thanked God for this bountiful garden. Fading eyesight may have made me change how I do my garden work, but I simply will not allow it to stop me.
WHAT’S YET TO COME
And now I think of the heaven and new earth to come. I think of the sweat and body aches I have endured in transforming this patch of land into a productive garden, knowing God is preparing a place where I won’t encounter thorns that, today, my wife must dig out of my fingers. There I won’t find a melon or a tomato damaged by blight or disease.
In Scripture God promises, “I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered…. They will build houses and dwell in them…, plant vineyards and eat their fruit. No longer will they build houses and others live in them or plant and others eat” (Isaiah 65:17, 21-22). Now that is something to anticipate!
Meanwhile, I suggest you consider growing something this spring. Even with no yard, one may grow a few vegetables and flowers in large pots—and feel the resulting joy