>Two weeks ago Joe preached a sermon titled, “The Garden” about how our spiritual lives are like plants, referring of course to the parable of the soils. As a take-home reminder, he let us plant seeds in paper cups. I chose basil, with visions of homemade pesto dancing in my head. I had tried to grow herb cuttings from the Porostoskys’ garden in the fall, but they died after about a month.
This time I started from seed, and within a week I had three tiny seedlings poking their heads out of the soil. A few days later I noticed the paper cup I had planted them in was getting pretty skanky, so I transferred them to a plastic cup I had punched drainage holes into. I tried to be careful in the process, but was terrified I had somehow damaged the root ball (all 10 mm of it). For days after the transfer I kept checking them to see if they were dead…they weren’t, but they didn’t seem to be growing either.
A few days ago I noticed that the sun no longer shone directly in my window at any point during the day. (My apartment building is shaped like a U and my unit is angled so that it is shaded most of the time.) I had mentioned my basil plants to my supervisor Ryan and he’d said that they need full sunlight. Today, I finally put two and two together and wondered if maybe my basil babies weren’t getting enough light. So I stuck them under the light near the sink. Six hours later, I looked and they were decidedly perkier.
I wish I had thought to take a “Before” picture, but I had no idea they would react so quickly. The new position of the light source is to the left in the picture; before they were both kind of bent over to the right. When I consider what I know about plant cells, that they can’t move and must change shape in order to change the plant’s position, and that this involves the coordinated movement of thousands of cytoskeleton molecules…wow.
The metaphor couldn’t be clearer. In order to grow spiritually, we must be illuminated by the Light of the world. Plants seek light because they need the energy to generate food. We have to look for Jesus or else even the Bible is just a lot of dead words. Lately I’ve been feeling that, no matter how much I love words and how much I need them to process the world, God is still bigger than that and I want to reach an understanding of Him that transcends even my preferred method of communication.