Sunday, June 2, 2013

Nurturing nature

I planted some saskatoon berry bushes in my recently cleared patch of dirt along the side of my house. If you have ever had saskatoons—in a pie, jam, as a sauce over pancakes or ice cream, or with fresh cream and honey like I used to have at my grandparent's—you will know how thrilled I am to have my own bushes. If you haven't had the pleasure of tasting saskatoons, I feel sorry for you.

It will be a few years before my little bushes are big enough to produce fruit, so I am taking the time to nurture them. The soil was prepared, I purchased good quality plants, the spot for them gets the right amount of light, they get watered and fertilized regularly, and I'll have to weed and till the soil occassionally. This routine will need to continue until the hearty bush is well established, ready to brave the elements of a prairie winter and potentially dry summer on its own.

It makes sense—it's almost intuitive—that we need to nurture plants. It takes a lot of time and not a little know-how, which doesn't necessarily come naturally.

Now read that last paragraph and substitute plants with marriage, children, relationship with God.

Does it seem as intuitive? I think it does. But more often than not I don't put the same effort into nurturing people and relationships that I do nurturing my precious bushes or garden. And still I expect them all to bear fruit.

Like plants, a marriage needs preparation, choosing the right person and feeding the relationship with time, sacrifice, service and prayer.

Like plants, children need their soil tilled from time-to-time, the weeds removed, they need to be fed and watered—not just in the physiological sense. In short, they need a lot of TLC if they are to grow and bear fruit as healthy and loving adults.

Like plants, our relationship with our creator needs to be nurtured if we are to bear fruit as His disciples. We need to be open to His love and nurturing and be fed through prayer, His word and especially the sacraments. How fitting I write this on the day we celebrate Corpus Christi, the feast of the body and blood of Christ.

Time, a little energy, and a healthy dose of grace are all it take to nurture and bear fruit.

My mouth is watering just thinking about eating a saskatoon berry pie.

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