United Church of Christ

Trying to Grow Tomatoes

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy… - Galatians 5:22 (NIV)

Somebody has to tell Steve.

Steve comes home every day about 4:30 and waters his tomatoes and peppers. The peppers do great; the tomatoes do not.

Tomatoes are a part of the geranium family. They don’t like to have their toes wet. Overwatering hurts them. Plus, his backyard doesn’t have enough sun. Tomatoes love sun.

Somebody has to tell Steve he is wasting his water and wasting his time.

I am not going to tell him. I am too good at doing things that don’t work or don’t fruit or whatever the scripture tells you about knowing how to find the good spirit. “The fruits of the spirit are love, justice, peace, righteousness, etc.” How can you tell if there is a good spirit afoot? You can tell by the fruits it yields. How can you tell a bad spirit is afoot? You can tell by the poison in the room.

Steve has a great spirit. He excels at perseverance. Plus, half of the time he is watering, he is squirting my dog with his hose. She times her day by his appearances at 12 and 4:30. He laughs. She jumps up and down. They have fun.

I hurt my ribs. For the first two weeks I slept in the same coil. As the injury worsened, rather than improved, I continued the coil. Three weeks into the injury, I considered change. I rearranged the pillows and the coil. I slept all night.

I don’t know who is going to tell Steve, but it’s not going to be me.

Prayer
Let us pray today about one of our perverse perseverances, and try something different. But let us not forget to squirt holy water at something, even if it’s a happy dog. Amen.

Donna SchaperAbout the Author
Donna Schaper is Senior Minister at Judson Memorial Church in New York City. Her most recent book is I Heart Frances: Letters to the Pope from an Unlikely Admirer.

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