Throughout the gospels, Jesus shows us and tells us that God loves and gives and forgives and then loves and gives and forgives some more. Overflowing, overabundant, over the top–that’s how God loves and gives and forgives. And God loves to surprise us.
I thought of this the other day in my veggie garden. Last season, I was the only veggie gardener in the world who didn’t harvest one single zucchini (and the squirrels didn’t get any, either). I had lots of pretty yellow zucchini flowers but for some mysterious reason, no fruit.
Now, a prudent gardener with an eye to the harvest would have written that down and planned to put in more of the things that succeeded (chard!) instead of the zucchini that didn’t, but darn it, it’s my garden, and I’ll plant what I like.
And I like zucchini plants; I like watching the bees visit those pretty flowers. So I planted some more zucchini seeds this season. (A serious veggie gardener friend told me, “I garden for food; you garden for fun.” She’s right.)
Incredible generous God
So what happened? Our incredibly generous God of surprises is surprising me with a bumper crop of zucchinis! There are already at least a dozen medium-sized zucchinis ready to pick, and who knows how many little ones are starting to get big. And the flowers just keep on coming. And all I did was plant some seeds! It’s the miracle of the zucchinis!
That’s not the only time our unbelievably generous and loving God has come up with that kind of surprise crop. I was amazed at our recent triennial gathering of Women of the ELCA with how generously and lovingly our participants (created in the image of God, remember) give and serve and give some more.
Although I was amazed, I wasn’t really surprised–because I know that the women of this church do this kind of thing all the time. All anyone has to do is plant a seed – describe a need–and the women of this church get to work on bringing forth an overflowing harvest.
Thanks to your generosity
For example, thanks to your generosity, the PV for Phebe project to bring solar power to Phebe Hospital in Liberia has succeeded beyond anyone’s imagination. Women throughout this church raised enough money to take care of Phebe’s need and start installing solar power at Curran Hospital in Liberia. Overflowing!
What other needs can the women of this church fill to overflowing? What seeds have you planted where you are? What needs do we know of in our organization? Maybe that’s where the next overflowing harvest will be. Maybe that’ll be the next zucchini miracle.
Audrey Riley is director for stewardship. Learn more about giving here.
The card artwork on this image was created by artist Vonda Drees in response to events at the Tenth Triennial Gathering, Minneapolis, Minn., July 13-16, 2017.