Gardens, Damage, and Keep Out Signs

© 2010 Bradley Gordon, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

I made a mistake. I didn’t harden the veggie starts enough before putting them in the garden, and then, we got frost.  I fear our asparagus, kale, cabbage, and broccoli may not make it.

Lesson learned.  I have the tiniest green grief for these babies, but I will plant more. I will do better next spring.  I will improve.

I’m grateful that my mistake does not have profound consequences (unless of course the Jains are right, and they may be).  I’m grateful that my ignorance does not scar so deeply that the wound cannot be repaired. My actions have not always been so limited in the way they have wounded.


I’ve been quiet about the rulings in Indiana and Arkansas.  I’ve been watching the conversations, the anger, the pain well up.  I’ve been seeing posts about homophobia the world over, about not judging those with whom we do not agree.  I’ve been praying.

Today, I come to this –  when we couch our bigotry and fear as “loving the sinner,” when we close our doors to people because we think we know better what God feels, when we choose anything but love, we do permanent harm to other human beings.

The God I know is a God of love – is love in its richest, most open, most true form.  The God I love does not turn people away because of what we see as “lifestyle choices,” or core elements of their identity. The God I love opens doors wide, sits with people at the driest part of their lives, squats down in the hard days and listens.

We feel self-righteous and some misguided form of “holy” when we say that our LGBTQ siblings are not welcome. We feel that we are doing some form of “right” or showing some broken form of solidarity when we put up signs that say some cannot enter.  But we are not doing God’s work then. Not in any way.

God does not exclude. God flings the door wide and opens God’s arms even wider so that we can run in and get that hug our soul craves.

When we decide we know better than God, we do damage that cannot be repaired with a few new seeds or a new attempt next year.  When we decide we will keep some out, we carve wounds that take years and lifetimes to heal, by the grace of our all-loving God. We wound others, AND we wound ourselves in profound ways.

Tomorrow, I will plant new broccoli seeds. Today, I will pray that we open our doors and our hearts instead of hanging “keep out” signs.

Lord, have mercy on us all.

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