Green Thumb

My hands have been known to find their way around piano keys and guitar strings. They have worn the black of grease and oil changes, the grey of a hammer and nails, the orange and purple of plumber’s glue, and all the colors of the rainbow in oil paint, craft paint and house paint. But of all the colors that these ten digits have been, a green thumb is not one of them. It’s a good thing my dear bride inherited that from her father, because I can’t even keep cactus alive.

My in-laws’ yard is a mixture of grand live oak trees and a multitude of towering pine trees. Their house sits in the corner of an old peanut field, and the pine trees were gathered from all parts of the country and planted here throughout my wife’s lifetime.

One of the family’s spring rituals is to gather baby pine tree sprouts and cultivate them until they are large enough to be planted and can survive in their own.  The “gathering days” usually fall in late winter or early spring after a soft soaking rain.

We all walk slowly through the yard, peering at the ground looking for the little sprigs, peeking through the brown pine needles, the fallen leaves and the occasional pine cone. My wife takes one step and finds at least half a dozen “tree-lets” within her reach. My in-laws were discovering them left and right. I think the dog even dug up a few, but me? I’m finding weeds, grass, and the beginnings of wildflowers. Then I saw it. My first one! Barely an inch tall but a tree in the making all the same. I looked up at the towering 40ft tall pine beside it and my conscience wandered.

I pondered the myriad of pine seeds that floated to the ground last fall, only to be covered by the discarded leaves of the winter season. Though I did not see the sprouts breaking out from their dormant state, I could see the magnificent trees that are a result of years of care, both humanly and Godly. How much more does a kind word or a loving gesture seem to go unnoticed, like those seeds, buried under the hurried pace of our daily lives.

“Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.” Ecclesiastes 11:6

We may not know if a seed planted will ever take root or simply be consumed by a passing bird seeking nourishment. So too, an offered prayer or available shoulder to cry on may be just what the Great Physician called for at that very moment.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

We may never know the change we made in a life until we meet in heaven and hear the story. Though occasionally, I have seen a sprout from a seed sown, either an answered prayer or a heart moved by a melody. So maybe I have a green thumb after all.

Still sowing seeds
And Blessed in Great Measure