A long time ago, while I was trying to be a student at Seminary, I attended a small church in Fort Worth, TX. This particular church had more Seminary professors per square foot than almost any other church in Fort Worth. I always wondered why this church was as small as it was. The Pastor, another Phd. grad from Seminary, was trying with all his might to get this church to wake up and get about the task of evangelizing.
The Pastor was really working on this, one Sunday morning. His sermon was full of urgency for the call of Christians to obey the will of God. While he was preaching, the free verse narrative came to my mind. When I originally posted this on my old web site, I thought I was giving a clarion call to the church. What I only recently came to understand is…
…God was talking to ME.
HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW?
I was lying there in the garden, almost asleep. A man came up the pathway, stopped and leaned his hands on the gate. He looked around and asked if the garden was mine. I told him it was not mine, butI was keeping it for my Master. He asked if I knew much about gardening.
“Well, of course I do!”, I replied.
I told him that I had been to the best schools of gardening, and would probably forget more about gardening in one day, than he would learn in a year. Inundated him with a deluge of information from my knowledge of gardening. I felt that would surely quiet my unwelcome guest.
There was a moment of silence. Perhaps I had been too hard on him. I felt justified, though, he did disturb my rest.
He looked at me and said:
Have you been a gardener so long, yet without fruit?
Do you know all about the soils, yet have not tilled one foot of furrow?
Are all the seeds familiar with you, but you have not put one in to the ground?
See, the weeds outnumber the leaves on the trees, the thistles are more abundant than the flowers.
What kind of Husbandman would let his masters’ garden fall to such disarray?
You boast of being a gardener but have no fruit for all your knowledge.
How sad for you when the Master comes to judge the fruit of your labor.
I sat there in stunned silence, at a complete loss for words. I noticed, as he vanished before my very eyes, that the gate on which he had been resting was bloody from wounds that had pierced his hands.