Sunday Sharing 6.30.19
In today’s Gospel, the passage describes the hostility between the Jews and Samaritans. It also shows us two different approaches to handling such hostility. The disciple’s way of dealing with this hostility was emotional. They were furious and wanted to seek immediate revenge. Jesus, on the other hand said no. He immediately disapproved of such actions. This passage illuminates the choices we are presented with especially when dealing with matters that evoke strong responses and emotion.
Sometimes the choices are easier for us to make and other times we must pray on them. How can we find a place of peace in our busy lives? How can we take a moment’s pause and pray to become more Christ-like in our attitudes and actions? Furthermore, how can we incorporate such practices in our lives in order to proactively deal and manage the stresses of life?
I call you to reflect on these questions and recall the places you go to in order to find a place of peace. What does this place look like? What sounds do you hear? What smells do you smell? What memories does it recall? How does it make you feel?
Last weekend, I rediscovered a place of peace and was reminded of its importance in my life. This rediscovery first started with a trip to a farm in Hobart, Indiana in order to seek out homegrown strawberries at their Strawberry Festival.
(Yes, I traveled 42 miles for strawberries but they were worth it.) Upon arriving at the farm, I was immediately drawn to their Garden Center, which had rows and rows of every flower, herb and plant you could imagine. I quickly grabbed a cart and started exploring. My cart became filled with mint, rosemary and basil. I felt like a kid in a candy store.
Once I returned home I was eager to get to work in the garden. Now, my excitement at the Garden Center may have fooled you into believing that I am a long-time gardener, but I’m not. My father was the gardener in the family. Every year, he would bring home trays and trays of flowers and herbs to plant. He loved to plant and get his hands dirty. He used to talk to the plants in order to encourage them to blossom and grow and frankly it worked. He always had the happiest garden - full of life and energy. My job was always to water the garden. This was the first year, since he passed, that it was my job to carry on his work. As I looked at all that I bought, I became overwhelmed. I didn’t have the first clue how to properly plant them. At this moment, I really wished I paid closer attention to his technique for planting. With some help from my mother, I finally broke soil and planted my first row. As I continued to plant, I started to remember my father and felt his presence. I remember him sitting in the garden with a cup of coffee and laughing. I remember him climbing the ladder to pick cherries. I remember all the times I went to the garden to pick mint for our salads, rosemary for the eggplant and basil for the pasta. The garden is my connection to him.
If there are things going on in your life that are causing you stress, anxiety or anger and you are in need of some peace, maybe you should try something like gardening. It worked for my dad and it worked for me. It really is a peaceful place to reflect and renew. My dad taught me to plant any hostility in your heart in the ground, care for it and instead it will blossom into something beautiful.