Our garden ministry last met together in person at the beginning of March, planning for the growing season and sowing seeds for plants we intended to share with the congregation. Our intention was to “return to our roots” and celebrate the 10th anniversary of the garden. It seems like an eternity ago, but it was only 4 months ago. The news of Covid-19 and its impact on the world was just unfolding, in fact within a week or two life as we knew it would come to a halt. Would it still be possible to have a growing season, and how would it be possible to move forward while keeping everyone safe? The uncertainty posed by Coronavirus was (and still is) real, but at the same time there was a reality that if there was ever a time to carry out God’s work, this time was now. The financial impact the virus would have on families would be almost unimaginable, food pantries and soup kitchens would be strained. For sure, there would be a pouring in of support and resources, but so many of these items are non-perishable. These non-perishables certainly have their role, they are the most readily available and easily distributed — but the downside is that they tend to be the least nutritious. Fresh fruits and vegetables on the other hand are the most nutritious but have a short shelf life. But as families look to decrease risk factors and boost their immune systems, it is evident that fresh produce is needed now more than ever. That is where we fit in.
So, as it turns out, not all of Covid-19 was horrible. Well, it is horrible, but what I am speaking of is a silver lining. As people have been confined to home, there has been a lot of interest in people returning to things they did not previously have time for in their all too hectic lives. Reading books, baking, long-walks, and yes, gardening! There is something cathartic and grounding about being closer to the Earth. Especially in the midst a pandemic, political division, protests and more. No matter your beliefs, all of it is overwhelming. It becomes too much to process. Gardening is the opposite, it may be some work and commitment, but it is nourishing in both the literal and the figurative sense. Gardening is also soul nourishing. What plants need to survive and produce fruit is still relatively basic. That simplicity is exactly what unwinds the complexity of everything else. There are chores of watering, weeding, and fending off predators, but stay true to those and you get to bear witness to the wonders of life before your very eyes. This is the process of us reconciling with God’s creation and seeing our place in it.
This year we have had an increase in the number of people involved with the garden. Our raised beds are filled, and our plants are growing. People are visiting their gardens more, carrying out tasks like weeding, watering, harvesting, and delivering to the food banks. I believe we will have a great abundance this year and it is our privilege and duty to share it. As of this writing we are closing in on 100 pounds of produce donated with plenty more on the way. Yes, due to Covid-19, it may be in isolation, but that does not mean we are alone. For certain, I miss the fellowship of having general workdays where we all get together to carry out some of these tasks. But without that physical fellowship, I see we are still connected, we still communicate even if by texts and Emails. It has not hampered our ability to carry out God’s work and continue to be a church of People Blessing People.
Dig in the dirt, friends, and remember:
Our God is bigger than coronavirus.
Our vision is bigger than coronavirus, too.
We are people blessing people.
We are Wesley Church.
Want to know more?
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- View previous devotionals: https://wesleychurch.com/pastor-candys-devotionals-2/