Jesus told a story about a farmer. Check it out here. This weekend our little church group studied this parable and the whole weekend seemed to carry a theme of sowing and reaping, planting and growing. The Parable of the Sower always reminds me of my Dad, my Papa, and home. I have vivid pictures of my faithful dad planting his garden every year, the joy found in the process, and the harvest at the end. It’s a precious story, so close to my heart.
In an attempt to do a better job of putting healthy food on our table, and to teach our babies that food really comes from God’s earth and not a brightly colored box, we’ve been frequenting Hollygrove Farmer’s Market. I love the idea of supporting local farmers and eating fresh food. After our Sunday morning spent with the Sower, what better to do than head out to the farm and market? I couldn’t resist this picture of the inner city bunnies! (Bunnies to left behind the kids) It inspires me to see an oasis of a garden in the middle of our crazy city.
Anyway, with the market’s bounty, and thanks to a Winn Dixie buy one, get one free sale on Plant City strawberries, I made jam.
Few things, my friend, are more comforting and confidence-boosting than making your own jam. I put on an apron and for a while behave like the women of my roots, the heroes of my faith and heart. When I was a kid, there used to be a song “God Loves to Talk to Boys While They’re Fishin’.” I think there should be one about how God loves to talk to moms while they make jam.
God and I talked about how I want to be the “good soil” Jesus spoke of in the above mentioned parable. The soil that produces fruit. Too often I’m the thorny kind, or even the hard, stony kind that won’t accept a seed at all. I want to produce fruit, to grow in my faith. But sometimes the process doesn’t stop with a gorgeous, fresh, red berry. Of course, there’s something to be said for ripe, plump fruit. But then there’s the further process of making the jam. The washing, the cutting, the crushing, the heat. All these turn the fruit into something that can last. Something sweet and enjoyable that can be tasted long after the harvest has come and gone.
Could it be that the Grower of All Things sees me, a plump lil’ berry in His hand and says “I’m gonna make some jam with you.”? Why do I fight and scream and worry and fret over the difficulties in my life, when all along, He could be making jam? Is He really using all my craziness to make me sweeter and longer-lasting? Lord, I hope so. Some days I wonder why he’d bother for a second with me, but even in my wildest moments my heart cannot escape Him.
Oh ya’ll. I do wanna be sweet. I do want to last.
Me & Jesus… we makin’ jam.