And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?’ And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’” Luke 13:6-9
Today is election day and the fervor for one way or another is at a fever pitch. There has been so many challenges in the past years and many people are suffering. We all want an immediate end to suffering and want our candidate to win. And yet, we forget, that there is work to do in the garden, in each of our gardens - tending, watering and feeding - and instead we vocalize and demonize. Patience and prayer are often not part of our discussions but I have learned than more good fruit comes from sowing love and kindness, sprinkled generously with patience and prayer than any other strategy or plan devised by humans.
Jesus tells the people a story to illustrate how God works in our lives. When things or people disappoint us, we desire to remove them from our lives since their presence is painful to us. We want fruit and abundance at all times and want to do away with the weak and unproductive. God's activity, on the other hand, is to nurture and feed those who have become fruitless, and to encourage and tenderly coax the weak to gain strength. God invites us to see potential in our disappointments and our losses, and encourages us to tend to the least in our gardens as they have more to offer than we can ever imagine.
Today I offer this prayer -
Gracious and loving Creator, you look upon each of us as a tender gardener, coaxing and encouraging us to bear fruit. You are patient and tender with each of us, and always ready to do more than we can imagine. Help us today to give others a measure of your divine patience. Empower us to seek your guidance and nurture with every storm and season. And make us gentle and loving so that we might produce fruits worthy of your orchards. Amen.