On the back deck sits a basket full of freshly picked, huge cantaloupe still with vines on. Or at least that’s what I think they are. I grow lots of vegetables and fruits here on the farm but not cantaloupe. Where did these come from?
(Enter Mr. Teenager, Nick, from side door, looking amused)
“You found the cantaloupe!” he says.
“Is that what they are? Where did we get these?”
(Mr. T’s smile gets bigger, revealing recent switch to hot-pink bands on braces)
“From the manure pile!” he says delightedly, eyes wide.
“WHAT? From the MANURE pile?” I reply shocked.
“Yep! The finishedmanure pile. And there’s a lot more of ‘em over there too! Dad was turning the pile with the tractor and he found probably 20 cantaloupes on it! Rose took one and thinks it’s a ball!”
“Oh my! They probably grew from the kitchen scraps I throw in every day. I didn’t even notice!”
Predictably, Mr. Teenager says, “I’m hungry. Let’s open one and eat it!”
I oblige after making him pose cantaloupes for photographic documentation.
As I snap away with my camera, I think about how God grows us like cantaloupes in the manure piles of life. Spiritual growth is all about putting ourselves in the presence of God and allowing Him to do His transformative work on the waste.
God wants our refuse. All the stuff we don’t like—the deepest, darkest, and broken—He takes and transforms, if we give it to Him. With love and tenderness, He sets the seed, nurtures, transfigures. All we need do is cooperate with the working of His transfiguring elements—the water of His Word, the warmth of His love, the churning of His Spirit.
Often, the churning is hard because we don’t like being bared. Our Adamic instinct is to hide. But when hiding becomes more painful than growing, we allow the spade to dig deep, surfacing unexposed places to His light and His love. Over and over the cycle continues—churned by His Spirit, watered by His truth, warmed by His love. In His time, flowers form and fruit comes.
We eat and are satisfied. Simple seed spawns abundance and crop overflows to many—even the dog!
Where will I place myself today? In Your presence Lord, I pray.