This past spring, my husband and I reluctantly agreed that, as much as we love fresh garden produce, we should forego the garden this year. Between the birth of our first child in June and the start of the first NMI session just two weeks later, it just didn't seem feasible to keep up with the planting, weeding, harvesting, and preserving that a garden entails. So instead, we joined a local farm's CSA program and tossed around the idea of planting a tomato plant or two - though we never actually got around to it.
Then, as I began to emerge from the sleep-deprived haze of early motherhood, I noticed that the once empty grow box in our backyard was filled with dozens of small tomato plants. Volunteers, I thought. The previous renters must have planted tomatoes in that box last summer. As the summer progressed, I was delighted to see the vines grow stronger and taller and eventually develop small green cherry tomatoes. By August, the grow box was a thick tangle of vines and bright red, bite sized fruit.
One afternoon, after filling two large colanders with the tasty morsels, a thought occurred to me: these tomatoes were just like grace! We didn't plant them, water them, weed them, or stake them upright, yet their fruit was free for the taking. No matter how throughly I picked the vines, the next time I looked, they were overflowing with more ripe fruit than I could possibly use. We ate all we could and shared them with friends, and still there were more!
It's now the first of November, and even in the cold of approaching winter, I see the cheerful red of ripe cherry tomatoes reminding me that God's grace is abundant and free!
"From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ." (John 1:16, 17 NLT)
By Joelle Worf