“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits." Matthew 7:13-20
Gardens and Gates
My hands are darkened with spring soil
my nails encrusted my knees are dirty
I am working in the warm soil hoping
for new life and new growth
from these old and weary vines.
Winter has passed and we inspect the volunteers
growth that needs to be trimmed back weeds
disguised as healthy plants waiting to choke
life and produce from these tender offerings.
We are fragile like these vines
as we plant we pray for health and vigor
for us and for these tender shoots
these attempts at new life and abundance
the ones who are willing to have faith
and grow in this vulnerable garden.
Water and light these tender ones need
but also faith and discipline from us
a constant tending and regular pruning
feeding and turning constant and deep
the possibilities are endless
the abundance just around the corner
and the prey linger and wait in the night.
We are vulnerable to all sorts of pests
we slack off and the weeds arise and smirk
we pray and we toil turning over at night
hoping for abundance and fruit
trusting not ourselves but the blessing
showers from the Creator
God's increase is not our own.
I sit in the garden and look at the narrow gate
the end of daylight filters through
and I am prone to wander to forget
the showers of love inside this garden
the abundance bestowed and renewed
the silent promise of tomorrow ans the lingering
shadows that are kept away.