Some of my favorite moments with my dad have been in the garden. I didn’t always feel this way though. At an early age, he had us in the garden with him and at that time it felt like slow, painful torture. The rows seemed endless to my little body. I dreaded it and the only thing that would keep me motivated to complete the weeding and picking was the thought that we’d get ice cream at our favorite spot afterwards.
Ice cream is a great motivator. THAT is something that hasn’t changed.
As I’ve gotten older, garden time with dad has become more precious. Most times there’s very little talking that happens. And then there are moments where I’ll be pruning the raspberry bushes with my dad and he’ll drop a nugget of wisdom for me to remember. It’ll get me thinking and asking questions– and a once menial task has made an impact on my heart.
Jesus did that too. He’d take an everyday type task and bring a kingdom perspective to those within earshot.
This weekend my dad needed some help picking green beans so I offered to help out. The task was no longer dreadful but a way I could show my dad I loved him. With the sun beating down on my shoulders, I enjoyed the quiet minutes in the garden with nothing on my mind but to find and pick greens beans.
And as I did it I noticed something. The hardest thing about picking green beans is finding them– a green vegetable attached to a green plant. Sometimes you have to pick up the different vines of the plant and look underneath the leaves in order to find them. They’re there, but they’re hiding. And it makes me wonder if I’ve been a green bean Christian.
Roses are easy to spot on their bushes. Their brightly colored petals proudly stand out amongst the leaves. Green beans though are easily camouflaged. Nothing brightly distinguishing them from their source. In the midst of this simple task I found myself convicted– “Holly, is there anything about you that causes you to stand out in this world? Are you living a life that brightly shines in the darkness? Or are you content being hidden making sure to not cause a ‘scene’?”
Its easy to fade into the background. To look like, talk like, reason like everyone else. And yet, the thing about Jesus that was so enticing to the sick, the lame and the broken people was that He stood out from everyone else. He’d touch a leper who had been marked as an untouchable. He’d release a sexually promiscuous woman from her punishment. He’d pick up a child and say they had worth. He countered his culture by continually committing social and religious faux paus.
That’s the kind of Christian I want to be. Not so I can stand out and proclaim how good I am. Cause I’m not. But so I can declare and testify of HIS goodness. I’m sick of being a green bean. It’s time to shine!