Wonderful Compost

06/21/2016

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As we enter into our third growing season at the Hempfield Church of the Brethren Rising Light Garden, we finally have some beautiful compost. It’s dark, rich and literally so full of life that it moves in your hand—worms slither around in every scoop!

We started the garden because our area is blessed with rich soil and because it was something we could do to address hunger in our area—all of our harvest goes to Water Street Rescue Mission in Lancaster, PA (https://wsm.org). But it’s turned into even more than that because church members bring in their own extra fruits and veggies to add to our deliveries!

The garden has done well, but I have even higher hopes for this year’s crop because every hole dug for every plant contains a shovelful of beautiful, homemade compost.

As I shoveled, I remembered that this magic dirt was made of all the stuff that wasn’t “good enough” to take to the shelter: weeds that had grown where they weren’t welcome; tomatoes that had been partially eaten by bugs; leaves that had died and fallen from trees somewhere on the grounds; and dried stalks of plants that had exhausted themselves producing fruit for homeless people to eat. The mounds of this stuff got smaller and smaller as it decayed. It became less so that something else could become more.

When John the Baptist’s followers got jealous that Jesus was getting more and more of the baptism customers, he told them, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30). It must become more about Jesus and less about each of us. Like compost, the mature Christian delights in nurturing others and it doesn’t matter if he or she is seen or appreciated in the process. It also doesn’t matter if we were once beautiful flowers or mangy weeds, because the creative God of the Universe can use all the “not good enough” parts of us to help make something beautiful! But first we must become less, because it’s not really about us anymore…and it never really was in the first place, was it?

In a few months I will joyfully deliver bags of tomatoes, peppers, and watermelons to the Water Street loading dock. The workers will smile and say, “thank you!” like they always do. And I will remember the compost that became less so that there could be more.

 

 

 

“ It must become more about Jesus and less about each of us. Like compost, the mature Christian delights in nurturing others and it doesn’t matter if he or she is seen or appreciated in the process.”

 

 

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