Monday, July 23, 2012

Stories of Abundance: In the Garden

Over the next week or so I want to offer a series of short pieces on abundance.  All of these events occurred over the course of a few weeks.  As these stories echoed around, bumping up against each other in the periphery of my life, it became clear that this was a message I needed to hear and hold onto.  Maybe you do to?  I would love to hear your stories of abundance if you have time to share!

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I head out into the yard in the heat of the morning – the green beans need to be picked.  We’re not good gardeners, my husband and I.  He plants with the kids in a flurry of hopeful expectation and I reap with the kids with a weight of obligation to the fruit which has grown of its own accord amidst weeds, harsh sun and a lack of water. 
I squat beside the garden; the bean plants paint a chaotic picture of our inattentiveness.  The leaves are half-eaten and the beans hard and overgrown.  But I pick them out of duty and compulsion, “waste not, want not” and, plunk, plunk, plunk, they fill the spaghetti strainer by the handful. 
The kids are elated.  “Can we eat them?” 
“Sure,” I say as I pop one into my own mouth. 
“Any time we’re out here and get hungry, we can eat them!”  they exclaim. 
The kids pick haphazardly and I can see they’re invigorated by it, by finding there a harvest that they played so little a roll in producing.  And I too can’t help but join in and be moved by the wonder of it all.  It’s then, as my mouth is open that my spirit is open too and I see here, yet again, the message of God’s abundance.  The picture here in my poorly tended garden of what God insists is the truth of the world, the truth of God’s kingdom, despite the voices arguing against it. 

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"We need not hope for Grace, we merely need to open our eyes to its abundance. Grace is all around us, not just in the hopeful future but in the miracle of now."  Richard Paul Evans

2 comments:

  1. Hi Kelly -

    Searched "open eyes garden abundance" and found your story.
    This is how I want to adapt it for a small church prayer on March 30.
    Okay with you?

    Rev Jeff Werner
    Bolton United Church near Toronto, ON Canada.

    Centering Prayer (Kelly Chripczuk, adapted)
    1: I head out into the yard in the heat of the morning;
    the green beans need to be picked.
    All: Confession time: We’re not good gardeners.
    1: We plants with the kids in a flurry of hopeful expectation;
    I reap with the kids with a weight of obligation to the fruit which has
    grown of its own accord amid weeds, harsh sun and a lack of water.
    All: It's amazing how such growth can happen!
    1: The bean plants paint a chaotic picture of our inattentiveness.
    The leaves are half-eaten, and the beans hard and overgrown.
    All: Confession time: We're doing this out of duty and compulsion;
    “waste not, want not.”
    1: It's amazing what the Spirit can do:
    The kids are elated. “Can we eat them?”
    All: “Sure!”
    1: “Any time we’re out here and get hungry, we can eat them!” they exclaim. The kids pick haphazardly, invigorated by finding a harvest that they played so little a roll in producing.
    All: I can’t help but join in and be moved by the wonder of it all.
    1: Then, as my mouth is open, my spirit is open too and I see here, yet again, the message of God’s abundance. The picture here in my poorly tended garden of what God insists is the truth of the world, the truth of God’s kingdom, despite the voices arguing against it.

    All: "We need not hope for Grace,
    we merely need to open our eyes to its abundance.
    1: Grace is all around us, not just in the hopeful future
    but in the miracle of now." (Richard Paul Evans)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First Jeff, thanks so much for asking for permission. I love your idea, what a unique way to use the story and the it's the perfect time of year as our heads and hearts are turning towards gardening. You're welcome to use the piece, the only change I would request is, if you print it, could you add the address or at least the name of my blog so people could easily google it? Thanks. And blessings upon your worship.

      Delete