Perhaps it was no coincidence that Mary Magdelene mistook Jesus for a gardener. In many ways Jesus was and is a gardener.
Jesus taught and continues to teach through stories, parables, examples, and healings. Within each are little seeds that are planted in our hearts and minds. Each time we read the Bible we glean insights from his words, often times a new insight from a passage we have read before. One day these seeds will sprout. In the meantime the gardener works the soil, tending to it so that one day it can nurture good growth. The gardener continues to turn over our soil with His words, making us into the soil that will produce a crop.
As we grow, He prunes us as well, to shape us into the best disciple we can be. Sometimes the gardener prunes off parts of us that hinder our growth as disciples, cutting off a little pride here, a little jealousy there, a bit of anger right there… At other times He prunes to encourage growth in our faith lives.
All the while He is also teaching us how to garden. Through His example and work in our lives, we come to understand how we can help others on their walk of faith. We can share the stories from the Bible and from our own walks of faith. We can tend the soil and encourage growth in those we know. We can also prune when needed. But the greatest lesson we learn from Jesus is to garden with love. It is to produce growth and to encourage that the seeds produce a crop in our garden and in the gardens of those we meet along the way. Happy gardening!!!