Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Different Kind of Planting

I don’t have a green thumb.  It’s sad, really.   My mom loved plants, going so far as to transport our houseplants nearly 1,700 miles across country from Toronto to Calgary.  I remember her hibiscus plant.  Under her care, that plant from the tropics actually managed to bloom once, maybe twice a year, despite being in the very un-tropical climate of western Canada.  How she would love the hibiscus growing wild everywhere here in the DR! 

For some reason, the ‘green thumb’ gene skipped me.  I love flowers, but don’t know the names of any but the most basic, and have a dreadful track record.  The promise that, ‘all you need to do is water it’ has been the death-knell of many a plant in my life.  I do try, really I do, but I just can’t seem to keep them alive!
Yesterday my friends (and fellow SI missionaries) Dick and Mary Ellen and I went adventuring, stopping at some of the little tiendas (stores) between Jarabacoa and Santiago.  We also stopped at a Vivero, (plant nursery).  I asked if they sold dirt, and the nice man gave me a good-sized sack – for free! 

My friend, and fellow blogger, Kris, gave me a bunch of packets of seeds when we met for coffee in Visalia in January.  I’ve been keeping them in my fridge, waiting until I could get some dirt.  I love the promise of those packets, each with a picture of a healthy, lovely (and delicious!) herb.  I’ve also been holding onto 20oz water bottles to make into starter pots.
Today was the day.  I cut up the water bottles, making sure to put little holes in the bottom.  I’m not sure why, but that’s what I always see, so figured it was important.  I pulled my seed packets out of the fridge, opened my sack of dirt…

And realized I wasn’t completely sure how to do this! 
So, in typical 21st century style, I ‘googled’ Planting Seeds.  To my surprise, several of the first several sites had more to do with raising children, increasing business, and discipling, than with actual seeds. 

Usually I’m eager to read more about discipling, but today I needed information on actual seeds.  I revised my search to Planting Herb Seeds, and go the information I needed. 

I’ll let you know how it goes.  To say I’m optimistic would be a lie, but I’m hoping at least some of them will grow.
In the meantime, my other planting, discipling some of the women of El Callejon, is coming along slowly… but surely! 

Last week Angela and I finished our discussion about how it is only by grace that we are saved (Sola Gratia).  Tomorrow we’ll spend time learning what the Bible teaches about Sola Fide (Faith Alone). 

Only Ramona came for our afternoon discipling, but that gave me an opportunity to hear more of her testimony.  It’s so encouraging to hear how God has been at work in her life!  I pray the rest will come tomorrow so we can continue sharing and growing together in Christ. 
Compared to growing genuine plants, I’m somewhat more clear on ways to encourage people to grow in Christ.  However, like with the herbs, while I have a part to play in discipling – planting seeds, perhaps watering seeds already planted – it is God alone who will make them grow. 

If my little seeds don’t turn into cilantro and basil and rosemary, it’ll be disappointing.  If they get choked by weeds, or quickly spurt up but then die, I’ll feel sad.  But, oh, friends, when this happens to those who hear the Word (Mark 4:1-20), it is not disappointing, it is heart-breaking! 
God will see His purposes fulfilled.  That part is not ours.  But, we do have work to do.  We are called to disciple - to share the truth of Jesus, to help others grow in Him. 
May we be faithful planters and waterers, trusting in our Perfect Gardener to see His harvest bear fruit, 30, 60, 100 times!     

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