When I was younger, my dad and I would garden together. It was something we liked to do. Each parsonage we had, we created a big garden in the backyard, where we’d grow watermelon, sweet corn, tomatoes, lettuce, and so much more. We enjoyed gardening together, but it didn’t mean we knew a lot about soil maintenance and getting out pesky weeds. Often times, our garden looked more like a backyard jungle than a place to grow vegetables!
When I was in seminary, I had a garden plot at the church. I was able to get back into gardening again, and I learned so much from the master gardeners who tended the soil. Every spring, the soil was turned over, mixing up the rich nutrients in the soil, and I learned you shouldn’t consistently plant the same seed in each spot. I even began to compost, knowing how rich compost soil is for the plants.
A few summers ago, my green beans yielded quite an abundance. I frequently gave away lbs. of green beans throughout the summer, until they no longer produced delicious pods. Fire ants had taken over the green beans, and they were slowly dying. While they still produced some green beans, I had to choose to remove what was dying to produce space for new life. In Texas, you actually had multiple growing seasons!
The season of Lent can be quite the place to reflect on our life as we wander in the wilderness for 40 days. As we think about the image of the garden, what in your life do you have to let go of in order for new life to take root? Throughout these 40 days of Lent, I pray it’ll be a time to cultivate your soil, learning what nutrients you need to add and what you need to take away. May it be so!
Peace, Pastor Kristina