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Sowing Good Seed - A Silent Reflection

It is the beginning of December and my garden is covered with a brown blanket of dried leaves, grass and manure. There are still a few clumps of kale and sprigs of onions waiting to be pulled as I need them, but mostly it is dormant. The first few weeks after we tucked the garden in for the winter, it was a relief from weeding, hauling, harvesting and a time to enjoy the fruits of our labors. But, along with the labor and exercise, I am also missing the silence of the garden.

The bustle of wind, birds and the sound of weeding were my only companions during much of the summer. The soothing white noise and the calm that encapsulated the garden became my meditation zone. I can pray out there unlike I can pray inside the house. I can think without interruption. And as always, I have a small pad of paper in my pocket so I can write down ideas and thoughts as they come and remember to explore them more when the sun goes down and it’s writing time.

Praying in the garden sows the seeds of God’s love and mercy deep in my soul. Even though my human nature isn’t always the perfect soil for good fruits, being in God’s creation, trusting that the fruit and vegetable seeds will grow, is a perfect reminder of what I am supposed to do. If I plant myself deeply in the richness of the faith, drink daily of His Word, and intentionally grow in His love and mercy, I will bear good fruits. I think of Matthew 7:21-23 when Jesus tells his disciples that "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord' will enter into the kingdom of heaven." He goes on to explain that if we say we follow Christ, but our actions don't reflect that, there will be no room for us in heaven. Jesus will not know us. And neither will people we encounter see that we are Christians by our love.

Do I need faith to bear good fruits? In my garden, I can still grow food in sandy soil, but it’s smaller. I can still find strawberries in a June drought, but again, they are tiny and less sweet. If my soil starts to deplete in nutrients, the plants will struggle, but there will still be a little to harvest. So, yes, poor soil can produce fruits, but far less good. I would rather my life, my words and deeds be a bountiful harvest of goodness, so I plant myself in my faith, in deed and thought, in practice and intent. When I goof it up, I pull that weed and try again.

Prayer is a great food for my soul and that prayer is best when steeped in silence. It’s not just about finding a silent place, although that certainly helps. Praying in silence is putting my frame of mind completely on God, who speaks in silence. I can’t hear His voice the same way I can hear yours. With a quiet mind, a peaceful heart, and a silent environment, I am more likely to hear His love.

And now that my quiet place is in its dormant stage, that silence is more difficult to find. And so I must look elsewhere, for the time being, to find the silence.

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