Sunday, July 16, 2006

Sweet Tomatoes

I will be the first to admit it. I'm an addict. In these parts there's no twelve step program available. I try to score some whenever and wherever I can, many times to the embarrassment of my friends and family. It can get ugly at times, but a person's gotta do what a person's gotta do to get her fix. You see....

I'm hooked on fresh, sweet, home-grown tomatoes.

As long as I can remember my family has had a big garden that covered the back fourth of the yard. Mom has been in charge of the leaf lettuce, radishes, onions, green beans, turnips, peppers, rhubarb, carrots, potatoes, and a myriad of other vegetables since the garden began. But chief among these and most prized of all, are the tomatoes. Big, luscious, juicy, red tomatoes. Tomatoes that you can pick right there in the garden, wipe on your jeans to get most of the dirt off, and bury your face in. Just be sure you're wearing a short-sleeved shirt at the time, because you'll need a free forearm to wipe all that juice away as it runs in rivulets down your face. Lord, there may be better things on this earth, but I am hard pressed to come up with one right now!

Being a person who is trying to watch her weight, I am finding summer a very good time indeed. There's nothing better than fresh corn on the cob, fresh green beans, fresh tomatoes, fresh cucumbers and onions and grilled salmon for dinner. It's paradise!

God may have taken away the Garden of Eden from Adam and Eve, but He does indeed know how to give good gifts to His children. Not just in the form of good things to eat, but more permanent and lasting gifts that we can use throughout our lives. I am continually learning something new from God, whether it be that He can and does provide my daily needs, or that I need to slow down and relish the gifts I have already been given. Gifts of joy, patience, peace, love...these cannot be measured.

However, sometimes it's hard for me to sit back and realize that I've ever been given any gifts at all. Days when I feel pain, days when I feel angry, unloved, unappreciated...those are all days I rarely look up in the sky and say with an earnest heart, "THANK YOU, GOD!" And yet, that's what we as Christians are called to do. Those are the days we need to encourage one another. To lift one another up. To remind one another of the goodness of our God and King.

To share a home-grown tomato.

Psalm 34:8
Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! (NLT)

Hebrews 3:13
But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is {still} called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
New American Standard Bible © 1995 Lockman Foundation


HeyJules said...

I'm with you, sister! I, too, grew up eating tomatoes right off the vine...kept us from getting yelled at when we'd run in the house and say, "Mom, is there anything to eat???"

His Singer said...

Uh huh. We had grapes, too! YUM!

HeyJules said...

We had an apple tree AND grapes so we win!