Ash Wednesday

Dear readers and myself as well,

This year for Lent instead of giving up something, I have decided to do something.  The something I am doing includes writing this daily blog, but it also involves some physical labor—that of planting a garden, the weeding, the cultivating, the figuring out what might grow in my little plot of earth.

This Lent I am thinking about three gardens—my personal one, the Giving Garden which is sprouting at Trinity Lutheran in Everett, and God’s Garden—this entire planet where God has planted us.

On this first day of Lent—Ash Wednesday, March 9, 2011—the word I am considering is humility.  Remembering that we are dust can be an exercise in humility, but I was actually thinking of the humility I feel when I think of all those who have gardened before me.

I am first of all a humble gardener because I am not an expert.  I am an experimental gardener; I will try planting a variety of seeds, expecting that some of them will not do well in my soil or with my amount of sunlight.  I am humble because I know that someone else first prepared the garden plot that I now work in.  Someone else built the raised bed and planted raspberries.  Someone else had a vision of growing things.  Someone else did a lot of work long before I got there.

I am a humble gardener because I know the lessons I learned in my parents’ gardens will be needed for my little garden to grow.  I am a humble gardener because my little plot is nothing like the irrigated farm on which my grandparents raised their nine children.  Another day this blog will re-visit that farm. For today, I will think about the dust from which I came and God’s tender care of each of us in God’s big garden plot.  Amen.