I happen to know just enough about gardening vegetables to know when something is not right. How do I know? This is a tough one… because there is little or no fruit. The seeds, plants, water, pests, nutrition or soil are not right. Otherwise there would be fruit. A normal plant reproduces after its kind. So do people.
For example: This past season I planted tomato plants but I prepared soil so hot with nitrogen that the plants were about six feet tall tomato trees and had just a handful of gnarly goofy looking little tomatoes on them. This is clearly not the plant’s fault. These poor gangly over-sized and under-leafed plants were a real embarrassment to themselves, to me and to others that walked by and looked, pointed and snickered while seeing them trying to produce tomatoes. Tomatoes can blush even without red fruit on them.
All of this is to say: Whether my poor little tomato garden or other seeds we are trying to grow; including the Gospel seeds of the Word… are done in the wrong way and continuing to be gardened in the wrong way as if it is the only way is really unwise, unfruitful and opposed to nature and Spirit for fruit, logic and reproduction. Something has to be changed for fruitfulness if there is no fruit. The elements of production must change if there is no production with whatever we are trying to grow.
I’m headed over to the other side of the Pond to have some Cuban Coffee and Tomato Jam on a toasted English Muffin and consider how to have our tomatoes make this jam next year after they and the farmer get through their embarrassment and he changes methods.
“A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden.’ “The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.” Jesus