There Is Hope! Enjoy the flowers!

It’s spring. Yay! Time to plant my flowers. I love gardening. In Dunsford, we had many big flower gardens. They were so beautiful. Of course, I was younger back then and full of energy and surrounded by little grandchildren who came to help dig and plant and water. I remember how good the cool spring earth felt as it ran through my fingers.

Time passed. We retired to Peterborough and our postage stamp yard with flowers mostly in pots. Still, I look forward every year to planting a few tomatoes, a little lettuce and my pots of flowers, out front, in the back and of course, my writing sanctuary on my deck. Soon there’ll be flowers everywhere. What could be better. I love spring.

Problem is, gardening is not always fun. My friend Nancy says she spends much of her time defending her tiny garden from the critters. As the song says, she watches “moles & mice get overweight, as they eat their dinners on a plate.”

Gardening is like our lives. Sometimes we see only joy and anticipation –  beautiful flowers and luscious fruit, love and kindness – the beauty of growth. Sometimes life feels as if it’s only hard work, lots of mud, and insects, weeds and critters. Will anything ever grow? Can we ever be a source of change and turn this world around.

In the Bible, Jesus tells a story about the gardener of a fig tree. The owner of the tree wanted to give up because for three years the fig tree bore no fruit.  The gardener says, “Leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it.”

Jesus story tells us not to give up. God is the master gardener. God will work with us. There is hope for us and for our country and the world.

When we listen, watch or read the news online, we’re told about all the misery and cruelty and destruction in this world. We ask, will there ever be an end to bigotry and prejudice, and power struggles.

The bible tells us yes. Look around. Open your eyes and your heart. Tomorrow night I’m attending an ecumenical gathering of women from all the churches in Bridgenorth. That means Roman Catholics, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, United Church people and more. Some of you know the story of the Cavan Blazers from the turn of the century. These men didn’t want Roman Catholic people living among them. The Blazers tore down or burned the homes of many Catholic residents in Cavan township. Yes, we’ve come a long way. For sure there is hope as we welcome refugees from war torn countries.

Today our country, like a garden, is full of so many varieties of beautiful flowers/people. And yet there are still weeds of prejudice, creatures seeking power. As we plug away, “Inch by inch, row by row, though at times it may seem slow,” we plant our love and caring and kindness. Our differences and similarities actually feel like that lovely spring soil. We pray, and hug, help and celebrate and we are seeing growth happen, one person at a time.

We can have hope. We can greet our new world here in Canada. We can give God thanks for the amazing variety of people who are our neighbours, co-workers and friends.  We can keep our eyes open to the goodness, the acceptance, the growth. If we choose, we can see the blooms of God’s love that shine around us. As we work for justice and acceptance we can keep being gardeners with God, loving and caring, and holding the torch of God’s love high. Each one of us can bloom where we are planted. May it be so.

Today’s Faith by Rev. Janet Stobie

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