In the merry month of May, gardeners (like me) love to stand in our backyards and dream of abundant harvests of delicious flawless vegetables, borders overflowing with vivid blossoms, and lush, thick, healthy green lawns. It’s so satisfying to envision the beauty and bounty that will spring forth from the good earth under our skilled hands and loving attention.
Well, we know–at least, I do–we know that by midsummer, the critters will have enjoyed our veggies and flowers immensely (I know my neighborhood is home to a wide array of well-fed wildlife) and the lawn will be as spotty and shaggy as ever.
The high hopes of May will fade in the harsh light (or cold rain) of August’s reality, just like last year and the year before. Every winter we growl that we’re going to move to a condo and never grow anything more challenging than a little pot of basil on the windowsill.
Is the kingdom of God like a foolish gardener who never gives up hope even in the face of experience?
At it again, every spring
But every spring, there we are out in our backyards again, planting seeds and raking mulch, getting hot and sweaty and muddy and having a wonderful time. Because this year, unlike all the years that have gone before, our gardens will be spectacular! We just know it!
Don’t you think that sounds like a parable? Is the kingdom of God like a foolish gardener who never gives up hope even in the face of experience? How do you think Jesus would tell that parable? How would you tell it?
Audrey Riley is director for stewardship and development for Women of the ELCA.