A friend I hadn’t met yet recently called me asking for help. He had been kicked out of a recovery program and needed to stay occupied for a couple of days. He was worried that if he didn’t stay busy, he would start to make some bad choices.
So I met him at one of our gardens. We worked together. We ended up getting to know each other a bit. We talked about compost, his history, cover crops, his art…all kinds of things. This man noted that this was a much better way to spend a morning than what he usually does.
I wish I could tell you that a couple of hours in a garden cured this man of his longing to use substances. But even as he scattered the wheat berries, he recalled a story Jesus told about seeds and where they land, and which ones grow. They didn’t all grow. In the same way, a short time in a garden is not likely to convince a man that he has better things to live for than alcohol.
But on a sunny fall morning, this man had a chance to do something positive, and he did it. The effects of his choice will ripple out from the event into the lives and stories of others. And this is one reason why it is good to have a garden--to give folks who need it something redemptive to do with their time, with their hands.