Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Tiny Moment of Great Inspiration

Forgive me, but I'm finally making the time to get caught up on some great blog posts. So, this is a post I started in the beginning of November, when the interaction actually occurred. This story is usually what I now find myself sharing with others at churches we visit. It seems to identify with my own personal mission for this year as a volunteer here, likewise tapping into a collective goal for all of us on the garden committee in creating an interactive space in the community where real authentic moments between people and plants can be shared.

A quick back track, but a day or so after that whole truck in the ditch mess happened in the beginning of September, Marcus came by the garden to see what I was up to. At the time, the heat had not calmed down and I had just finished weeding and adding the new soil to the beds. I'll be honest, although Marcus seemed quite intoxicated and perhaps rough on the edges, therefore didn't seem to fit the stereo-type, "community gardener', I heard the internal Spirit argue , "Wake up, this is exactly who needs to be here." I explained to him to that first bed was ready for planting and  I was just about to plants some carrots, I casually threw the invitation out to him,"You think you could help me out here?" To my surprise, he jumped right in,"Yeah man, give me some seeds I'll plant them.", and after all what did he have to lose? We made a couple shallow trenches in the bed, and as I saw those carrot seeds rolling down from his finger tips in a tiny little trench, I remember losing track of my negativity and  doubt; all the hot sweat-filled hours of weeding and sifting dirt, the frustrating moments of attempting to plan how to make this space more appealing or interesting to the local community, and the hours now and continuously spent alone in the garden. I was filled with contentment and satisfication. Here was a moment where a member of the neighborhood, regardless of his identity or present circumstances, was doing work in the garden; a great thing to see and  experience.....

 Well, fast forward to the present, a couple months later and after some major thinning and watering Marcus has officially scene the magic! Last week he was passing by when I surprisingly gave him the news, "Hey Marcus,  man guess what, remember those carrots you planted, there looking pretty good, I'm pretty sure there ready, you grew carrots man!" He stopped in his tracks as his face lit up, and he responded, " What, really? Dang!" He came rushing into the garden and came to the bed, bursting with bright green tops. As he pulled out  his first hand grown fruit, it was a priceless whispered maybe out of surprise, "Wow....Dang.... I grew carrots..." His accomplishment surprised him. And there would be no other way to explain that moment, from what I witnessed. That day Marcus lifted  a heavy bag full of fresh greens and his carrots with great pride and excitement, to show his friend outside the garden. I hear the devil's advocate in me argue, "Well that's a nice a moment, but does it change anything major about that young man's life?" And, to be honest, I don't have the power nor the resources to radically change anyone's life through this garden. I can't personally change anyone's state of poverty, alcoholism, drug addictions, risk of violence. But I can offer some great moments of personal attention and support, and a real opportunity to grow something new in our lives, one carrot at a time. Although this may seem pretty insignificant looking at all the odds stack against the poor, I can't help but believe it's meeting at least a small need in people's hearts as it has in mine.
I'll be uploading some pictures soon of Marcus and others, there are great things in store for this diverse space in the heart of Pigeon Town. Please continue to keep the neighborhood in your thoughts and prayers, grace and peace. 

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