I would like to take you, with my words, to a special place. At first glance it might not seem special to you. Just a bit of land nestled by a house of prayer, with a creek running through the back of the property. It has a small wire fence of sorts enclosing small measured plots. Is this a place for the dead to rest, you ask? No, it is a place of new life! It is in this place where people come out of their houses to shake hands, with dirt under their nails, and become a community. It is a place where the older and wiser come alongside the younger and inexperienced. It is a place where people get a chance to work to provide food for their table, where there was none before. The wooden sign anchored into the ground has letters chiseled out of it that spell out; Creekside Community Garden.(The above introduction written by Hunter Rian Miller Eagle Scout Troop 437)
People look for the evidence of the miracles of God on this big earth and can’t find them. Look no farther than this plot of land. It was a grassy weedy field, until the prayers of the people rose up to heaven to rest upon the ear’s of our Father. Seven people had a vision. For some it was to provide food for their families. For others it was a place to work the earth and find healing. Still others, this new beginning was a place to build community ,but it was the Holy Spirit that won the day. I haven’t told the story of the creation of Creekside Community Garden yet, but now it is time. Heights Church has been given the responsibility of breathing new life into this little church property where our community grows food and they are prayerfully considering if they should keep the Community Garden. I want to tell the story behind the creation of this special place. It is a story of how very much our Father loves us and wants to provide for our needs.
A prayer slips up to heaven
A mother stands head bowed and eyes closed before a window. She often prays before this bit of framed glass. Somehow she feels that her petition can easily slip out the window and rise up amongst the clouds to her Father. This evening she is asking; “How can I feed them Father? There are so many. They are always hungry. I am asking you to make a way.” She opens her eyes and sees a field of green grass which stretches far and wide. This is her answer. She knows it with a certainty that she knows her own name. She grabs her toddler’s hand and marches across the street, feeling brave, but at the same time uncertain. A man of the cloth meets her at the church house doors. She inquires about the field of grass and learns that God has already paved the way. There is already a group planning a community garden. Would she like to join in? Yes, indeed she would, Thank you Father.
Then those seven people met and worked under the hot July sun. This was work that some were familiar with, our veteran of war mostly, and work that some were not so used to. It was the kind of work that made the mother feel like she was going to either pass out or throw up or maybe both. Kind of brings new insight into the curse that sin brought upon Adam. Some might have looked on and said it was plain determination that kept them going, but others knew it was the work of the Holy Spirit within them that sustained them. Before long there were plots measured and tilled out of the grass. Then there was a need for water. Hauling the hose across the parking lot all the way out to the garden wouldn’t work forever. God provided a way, specifically water! A company came and put the pipes in free of charge and the City of Richardson met them with the news that they would pay for 90% of the water if the gardeners would give 20% of their produce to those in need. Wow, He is faithful. They all planted. They watched for the signs of new life. Their sprouts emerged from the soil full of promise. Sadly all of those tender sprouts were eaten by rabbits. There was nothing left but crusty brown earth to show for all their efforts. Two steps forward three steps back!
A fence was needed. They all pooled their money together, but David did all the work erecting the short fence to keep the rabbits out of the garden. God provided again. The irony of the name David was not lost on the mother looking on in wonder. One day David asked her about the Lord she followed and they sat down in the shade and talked about what it was to walk with God. Not just to be destined for Heaven, but to truly walk with him; the joy, the comfort, the promise of NEVER being alone, EVER. Even in the darkest days of despair. Even in the memories of war. Comfort, joy forever!
Then there was food! And it was good! Maybe the bugs had not found them quite yet or maybe God knew they needed to feed one of their own. They got the news; out of work, six kids to feed. The fear was palatable. They all pitched in and replaced the taste of fear with food. It was however, the year of yellow squash. I am not sure that some of the kids in that sweet family will ever feel the same about yellow squash. They fried it, shredded it, boiled it and baked it. Bottom line is, they were thankful.
Then they got the news that the pastor of the church was leaving. Would all their hard work be for not? The truly good and noble men the mother knew, that she trusted completely, she could count on one hand. Her Grandfather, her husband, her brother in law and Sam. Let Pastor Bruce be represented by the fifth finger on her hand. A lot of people claim they can grow food. Well, let me tell you, the new pastor really could grow some food!
The parable of the fisherman
There was once a man who stood every day and caught fish. He gave all his fish to the poor people that came by. That was good. Then a man came along that spent time with each hungry person. He gave them a pole, helped them dig worms for bait, a hook and taught them how to fish. That was even better! When they were sustained, they, in turn came along side another hungry person and taught them how to catch fish. Pastor Bruce taught the mother how to fish out of the earth. He taught her how to grow things that she had never even heard of. KOLRABI. I know! Who knew there was such a thing. Everybody shared when there was a need. Christ smiled down on them all.
As time passed the mother grew in confidence and relying on her Father turned her whole front yard into a garden. With her Father’s prompting she started
teaching others to fish from the earth on this little thing called the internet. Who says God is not up with the times? Sometimes she rises up early in the morning and sometimes she stays up late at night because she wants to be the fisherwoman that teaches others to fish out of the earth. She wants to be a fisher of men’s souls. She wants every mother, who looks into hungry brown eyes, to be able to hold out a plate of food. Even though her whole front yard is a garden, she still works the earth with the community because there she meets people.
Once she met a young mother that took the bus, to work the night shift, caring for the elderly. When her shift was over this young mother walked down the road to care for her veggies so that she could hold out a plate of food for her four kids and husband at the end of the day. She also met a woman at the garden, who had left a hurtful situation. In this small apartment, where this young lady had taken refuge, the hours ticked by unfulfilled. But in the sunlight, working the soil, under the watchful eye of her Father and Pastor and friend, she found peace and comfort. This mother taught kids of all different ages and colors to plant things of all different ages and colors.
Creekside Community Garden is not perfect. We never claimed to be. There is a lot we could do better and a lot we are still learning about making a community garden work and about reaching out to others. There are miracles I haven’t mentioned like people giving free wood for beds, hours of piling free mulch on pathways, even more hours of pulling weeds/grass. There are also stories yet to tell of souls who gardened beside us and souls that spent hours toiling with us in the hot sun. Even some that did projects that turned them into Eagles, scout that is. It is in their honor that this mother wanted to tell the story of this special place. This garden was given and dedicated to God when it was created. It is Holy ground. I am talking take off your sandals Moses, Holy ground! So the mother watches and she waits to see if it is God’s will to keep the garden and make it grow? Either way, He will be praised because after all, He is in possession of her front yard now! 😉