A few weeks back I wrote about the Quinault Community Garden, a new endeavor at our church here in the Tri-Cities. I’ll be posting a series of essays and updates on the garden about once a month, focusing on characteristics of God that we can see as we garden together.
Our hopes for the garden are many — to make something lovely out of something neglected; to have a way to invite neighbors to join us in a fun, meaningful, productive activity; to expand our current food ministry for families in need. But another purpose of the garden is to give us a visible picture of God, who He is and what He does. If we look, we can see evidence of God in our garden.
One of the most basic characteristics of God seen in our garden is that God is good. In fact, in our community garden we can see the same goodness that God showed Adam in The Garden: “And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food….” (Genesis 2:8-9)
God is good, and He provides what we need, including our food. Each meal should be a reminder of that provision from God, if we’ll slow down to realize where our food comes from. Most of us have more food in our fridges and cabinets right now than some people around the world will see in a month’s time, and we take for granted that we can walk into a store or restaurant and get more whenever we want. In reality, though, food doesn’t come from a store or a restaurant. It comes from God, out of His good and loving care for us.
Planting, tending, and harvesting the vegetables that become the food we eat is one way that we can slow down long enough to reflect on how God, the creator of heaven and earth, is the one who gives us food and life and being. He is good, and in our food we can enjoy His goodness.
Garden Status: Our first work day was a success — the team pruned trees, raked away several years’ worth of rotting leaves, started a compost pile, and recycled or dumped old material. In the end, instead of having to pay out of pocket to dump an old refrigerator, we were able to make a little money off recycling some motors, pay for the dump, and have $6.25 left over. Nice. Our next work day is this Saturday to start building the raised garden beds.