Sunday, July 4, 2010
Lead Me to the Cross
I am not the most experienced gardener in the world and to be honest with you, this year is the first year that I have planted a garden in the buckets. It has truly been the most rewarding hobby watching the plants grow from the seeds. Every day I check on my garden spending 30 minutes admiring the growth progress that it has made since the day before. The next 10 minutes I spend giving my plants a water bath and TLC (tender loving care).
Shortly after I planted squash it rained all night long. In the morning, I noticed that one of the buckets was filled with water. I ran to the rescue just to find out that the reason the water did not drain was because I forgot to punch holes in the bottom of the bucket. Ooops! Quickly I poured the water out of the bucket carefully removing the almost drowned plants. The two plants were in bad shape, but instead of throwing them away, I decided to replant them hoping that they will continue to grow.
During the next 3 weeks I watched all but two plants grow to become strong, tall and beautiful. But my two outcast plants produced tiny and I mean tiny leaves that looked pretty sick compared to the plants that were not affected by the drowning. Every day I wanted to dig up the sickly plants and throw them away. I figured the tiny plants will never amount to anything and are just a waste of my time. Why would I pour hours of hard work into the outcasts, when I will never see the fruits of my labor?
And boy was I wrong about my little outcasts!!! A month later the day after it rained I went to check on my little garden and was in shock. My tiny, little, outcast plant had a flower, which means that it will soon produce a vegetable. After jumping up and down for 5 minutes I ran inside to grab a camera to document the proud moment as a gardener. As I was taking a picture, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, and I was convicted.
How many times have I had a judgmental moment of looking at a stranger classifying the person as an outcast? Hmmm… to be honest with you quite a few times. I have also witnessed others looking at a person that I love dearly (my dad) thinking that there is no hope for him, because the chains of alcohol had too strong of a grip on him. I would get mad and angry at these people, because I knew that there is hope for my daddy and it is in Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior!
Labeling someone an outcast because they do not look, talk, walk and live like us is easy but also hypocritical. As a Christ follower, I must demonstrate Christ like love and that means an unconditional love. If we look at the life of Jesus Christ, He spent His time among the people that society labeled outcast, that is prostitutes, people with leprosy, and the tax collectors just to name a few. Jesus came to heal the sick and not the well.
The day I saw a beautiful yellow flower on the tiny outcast plant, I rejoiced. Instead of throwing the plant away because it didn’t look like the other plants, I held on to the hope that one day the weak and tiny plant would produce a flower. All it took is a little bit of patience and TLC. In the same way, God reminded me that there is hope for all of His people and I must show to them love, kindness and patience no matter how they look, smell or live. And in due time I may have the privilege and honor to watch their lives radically transformed by Jesus Christ. I would like to leave you with two Bible verses that were placed upon my heart. 1 Cor 3:6 says, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.” Luke 10: 2 reminds us, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”