Some reflections from the onion patch

Published 3:07 pm Tuesday, April 28, 2020

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With my little garden in a critical state of growth, it is a perfect time for a good spring shower.  Tiny cucumbers and little squash are on the vines, tomatoes are starting to appear, potatoes are in full bloom, and sweet corn is waist high and getting taller every day.  And true to the forecast, the rains came in abundance this afternoon.  But everything about the showers of blessings was not so good.  After a huge deluge of rain I was in my office when I heard a tapping sound above.  I didn’t think too much of it at first, but when it continued I started to listen more closely.  It did not take long for me to determine that what I was hearing was not coming from outside; it was in the attic.  As much as I wanted to deny it being so, I knew it could only be one thing—a leak!

During Hurricane Michael, we sustained some roof damage and lost a few shingles, but even then our roof never leaked.  And now with a new roof installed a year ago with no problems, I didn’t expect any now.  But it looks like I was wrong.

Those little annoyances and inconveniences that we face are never welcome and if we are not careful they can be allowed to overshadow the multitude of good things going on in our lives. 

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Before the rains came today, I harvested my sweet onion crop.  It was far short of what it usually is; the bulbs were much smaller than in the past.  Nevertheless, they made enough to be worth the effort to dig them and what we have eaten of them so far has been splendid in flavor.  Since I am not planning to enter them in an onion growers contest, they will do just fine.  But getting the onions in before the ground got too wet was not the only achievement—I had a little helper that made the event more special. 

Gale called Addy yesterday and asked if she wanted to help Papa dig onions and she quickly agreed to the offer.  She arrived at our house early this morning with her little rubber boots and started to work.  It is a rather nasty and smelly job, but I never heard her complain.  She got on one end of the patch and I got on the other until we met in the middle and the job was done.  What a joy it was to have one of my grandchildren helping and getting a hands-on lesson of what the soil of God’s beautiful earth can produce.  And she’s looking ahead—when we finished the onions she asked me when we will be digging potatoes!  I expect I’ll have some help with that job too.

In the Old Testament, Psalm 107 provides some examples from life that are worth reflecting on and acknowledging God’s involvement in the lives of His people.  The writer begins and ends the series of thoughts with these two verses:  “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.  Whoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the Lord” (verses 1 and 43, New International Version).  In the course of this psalm, a variety of situations are presented in which God intervened for those who cried out to Him.  Sometimes they faced hardships because of their own poor choices, but when they humbly called out to Him He heard and answered.  The wise pay attention to such things in life.  They take note of the good and the bad, and then arrive at the conclusion that God is good and loving. 

It is important that we pay attention to the roof if it’s leaking, but it is wise and beneficial to also heed the good things of life that God does.  If we only focus on the bad, life is reduced to mere miserable existence.  But when we take note of His good interventions, joy and peace are realized.  His goodness can even be found in a ten year old girl with dirty hands in the onion patch.