Thursday, May 27, 2010

Changing Chapters: A Community Garden is born

When I read a book, I enjoy short chapters. The chapters in my book The Runaway Pastor are too long for me. I like to read for a few seconds and knock one off. I like changing chapters because it gives me a sense of progress.

Changing chapters in real life can be more difficult.

A friend's status on facebook today: "Listening to my baby boy cry himself to sleep about moving away from his best friend. These are the moments you wish you could shield your kids from, heart break." A chapter is changing for this family--moving from seminary to their first job in a new church. And with all the dreams of making life better in the world, tonight their decision has broken their boy's heart.

I've made several of those cry yourself to sleep decisions for my family. And while they began as exciting looks into a better world, they included painful leavings behind.

But this week, there is a chapter change that is exciting...even exilarating for me.

Last winter I dreamed of a community garden at our church. We have all of this property, and we use it so little. There is hunger in our community, as well as many frustrated gardeners due to a lack of sun in our forest-living. But as many pastors can tell you, dreams are a dime a dozen, and often go by the wayside soon enough.

Thanks to the determined efforts of a couple who shared my dream, and those whom they have inspired; last night I wheel-barrowed my way through tilled soil. I (before gladly being replaced by a friend, then a friend with a tractor) was beginning the process of adding tons of donated composted amendments to the soil. I looked in front of me and saw a dream come true.

I arrived at the office early this morning and drove my jeep to the garden site, and just stared and smiled. In that soil, dozens of us will sweat. There will be frustrating weeds and blights and cut fingers. There will be stings and failed crops and ignored patches. But a page has turned. There will be new friends made--more than 2/3 of our gardeners are from outside of the church. The local soup kitchen will receive huge quantities of fresh, nutrient rich vegetables. And in one more new way, the stuff our church "owns," will be multiplied for those who need it. Kind of sounds biblical!

Take a look at our facebook page. Join if you want!


Zee said...

cool! i wanna join, but i don't think i'll be able... unless i can plant some tomatoes virtually! :D

David said...

Does Kyiv need one? Your grandmother was an awesome gardner! Do you guys still garden at that dacha?

Zee said...

yeah, grandma and i had swell time at the dacha...

no, haven't been there that often since she passed away... mom and Sergey go there once in a while to make the jungles manageable, but the last time i was there was a few years ago...