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Have you ever seen a watermelon tree? Believe it or not, I have! Our family had one in our back yard.  Now,  you are thinking I am totally crazy and wonder what I had to eat before bedtime to dream up such a tale. Truth be known, Dad planted a watermelon tree but not knowing that was what he was planting.

Now, the rest of the story…..It was at one of my dad’s earlier appointments where Dad was full-time at a church, going to seminary and raising a family. One Spring, our neighbor said he would let Dad use a plot of land between our house and his if Dad would like to grow a garden. Dad thought “wouldn’t it be great to have a garden with fresh food all summer, a little to put away for winter and just maybe I can teach my children the joy of planting and watching something grow.”

Dad planted the garden. Then, life got busy for him. Term papers for seminary were due, he had internships, observations that were required by some of his classes, sermons to get ready for on Sunday, visitation within the church and community and funerals when they came up. Along with these responsibilities were the every day responsibilities of taking care of and raising a family. Needless to say, the garden soon became unattended. Soon, my brother and I began enjoying watching the garden grow and grow out of control!

We had green beans growing along with dandelions. The tomato vines were out in the middle of the back yard. Vegetables were growing everywhere and beyond the garden. Then, one day, Dad goes out to the big oak tree  where my brother and I would play and, behold, there were watermelons in the tree!

Dad planted the seeds, God watered them and they grew. They grew beyond any imagination that summer. My dad now retired from 47 years of ministry was also another kind of seed sower. Over the years, I watched my dad sow seeds in the lives of others.  Even now, he works part-time as a chaplain at the local hospital in his community where he is sowing seeds. These seeds that he sows are the love of Jesus Christ.

Over my lifetime, I have watched him sow seeds of encouragement, hope, forgiveness and love. Sometimes, he would see the seeds bloom instantly and other times he would not learn of the results until years down the road. Yet, it didn’t matter because he had done what he was called to do and that was to sow these seeds.

As Christians, we are called to sow these seeds of love, encouragement, hope and love in the lives of others. When we sow these seeds, we have to put them in the hands of the true gardener, God. Many times, when we sow these seeds we don’t see the end result right away. Instead, it takes us sowing a seed, then others coming along in a person’s life to water the seed. Eventually, that seed that we planted grows into something beautiful.

Today, I encourage each of us to begin planting seeds of hope, encouragement, love and forgiveness in other’s lives. First we can sow seeds unintentionally  with a simple smile or hug. Our daily actions on how we handle what life deals us even sows seeds in the hearts of others. Believe it or not, people watch us to see if we are going to react or simply respond.

Then, there are those we intentionally sow a seed in but we don’t see the results. It is hard for us to grasp that good will come when we are not seeing the end result. Remember, when you sow those types of seeds, that you place them in the hands of our gardener. He will send other people into their paths to water and to help weed out the things that don’t need to be there. Then, one day, when you least expect it, you will see this beautiful new bloom in Christ Jesus. Just like my dad walking out to that oak tree and seeing with amazement  watermelons growing out of the tree. Trust me, it is a site to behold and a site you will never forget.

Carry this scripture with you today and in the days ahead;I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. ”

1 Corinthians 3:6

Blessings

*By the way, our family never planted another garden after that summer. Also, I couldn’t believe it when I found a watermelon in a tree on the internet when composing this blog post.


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