Written on April 3, 2017. By Shari Norvell
We are in the middle of the beginning of our first garden. Well, there was the year of Toggle’s carrot garden. The yield was the tiniest carrots you’v ever seen, but if they made it from outside to inside not within Toggle’s tummy, we cut those little carrots up and put them in our dinner salad. So, after all these years and numerous homes, I’m so excited to have a full garden on its way.
I grew up with gardens, and with the exception of two incidents, they were a favorite part of my childhood. Incident one I call Nosebreak Spring. I had been tasked with holding our German Shepherd, Arco, while my dad started the rototiller. Arco got away from me and the chase that followed caused my nose and my dad’s fist to “connect” mid pull of the starter cord. Incident two was that of the “Great” Okra Harvest. The covenant of the okra that year must have been multiplication because okra took over the entire garden. There was so much, my dad sent us door to door through the neighborhood selling it for fifty cents a bag. There was still more than we could eat, even though we ate it every day. Every single day.
With incidences noted, I’ll move on. I loved our garden! The fragrance of the overturned earth. The feel of broken dirt that had come from deeper than I could see. The colors and shapes of the seeds that would be plunged inside tiny holes formed by my fingers. Bliss.
Everyday I would check the rows and eventually learned the difference between sprout and weed so that I didn’t accidentally uproot our coming harvest. Again.
Weeks that felt like years later, my favorite day would come. As we always seemed to plant tall crops, the warm and wondrous day would come when I could sit within the garden and be completely hidden between the giant corn stalks and the infamous okra.
Between the guard and gratuity of the garden, I felt like a tiny seed with a tantamount something inside. Designs and dreams were imprinted upon my heart between hoed rows and heavy harvest. Wrapped within my garden moments was a marvel. My eyes were ever drawn to where the ground opened to allow the passage of the stalk and stem and I was always amazed at how impossible it seemed that such a tiny place could house such big potential. My yield from those lazy days in the harvest’s hammock was hope. For I was tiny too. And there was far more in me than it felt like there was room for.
CS Lewis described it like this in The Great Divorce:
My teacher gave me a curious smile. ‘Look’, he said. And with the word he went down on his hands and knees. I did the same (how it hurt my knees!) and presently saw that he had plucked a blade of grass. Using its thin end as a pointer, he made me see, after I had looked very closely, a crack in the soil so small I could not have identified it without this aid. ‘I cannot be certain,’ he said, ‘that this is the crack ye came up through. But through a crack no bigger than that ye certainly came.’
We grow in the largest ways from the smallest places. Enormous growth comes from a hemmed in hole. We see restriction as something to resist and rebel instead of the place to hold tight. To be held tight.
And often as we tread across the soil of our yet to comes, we can see it as dirt to wash away instead of a sacred place where a hidden seed is growing. So very sacred because it is home for His secret.
All of this so we can grow. All while we make every attempt to change. Yet growth is what changes us. You see, if the seed of me is an acorn, then the imprint within me is to become a majestic oak. Growing will invite me to the destiny of my design while every shaft of light implores, each sprinkle and stream invites and all prunes and prods ignite.
If I instead try to change, my greatest attempts will lead to my deepest disappointments. Because to change would mean to become a pear or pomegranate and deny the design that He is desperate for me to reveal. Change doesn’t bring maturity, maturity brings change.
Maturity comes as we grow. It comes when we allow the light to divulge our hidden treasures, flood to disclose our frail and fear and weeding to display our ability to let go. Growth allows us to be different than we are now, but not different than He intends us to be.
And even on the day that large comes from little, we will have choice and challenge. We can easily chop down the tree of we to build a stage. We might produce a platform instead of kneeling beneath stretching branches, hearts postured for praise.
As I am learning to let Him grow me, these words have been a ready refrain:
Down in the dirt buried deep, there is a promise, there is a seed. And with some sun and with some rain, a little shelter from the pain, with some patience and some time, you’ll see it grow and grow.
Let Him reveal to you and area where you are trying to change instead of grow. You might even let Him reveal ta other person in your life or situation that you have been requiring to change instead of growing.
Get a seed packet for each of your guests/hosts. Then do an ICU for them related to that seed!