Luke 13:8, 9–And he answered him, “Let it alone, sir, this year also, till I dig about it and put on manure. And if it bears fruit next year, well and good, but if not, you can cut it down (RSV).
The newspaper ad brought back fond memories. “Free Horse Manure. Bring truck. Will load!” My family well remembers Grandpa Steve’s fondness for manure. He never visited our farm without leaving with a bushel of the stuff. Every time he left for the barn with that gleam in his eye, Granny would roll her eyes. She’d ask us what on earth their Brampton neighbours must think. “Surely he has enough of it by now!”she would exclaim. “The flower bed can only hold so much!” We sympathized; glad we didn’t live near by.
Gramps on the other hand, never said a word. He just kept filling that basket and carting smelly stuff home. Years later, he finally spoke up. “I know you all laughed at me for bringing that manure home, but that hard old clay is no more. I can plant anything there now.”Years later, that flowerbed continues to produce an exquisite display.
When my husband became a Christian, several people told us they never thought they’d see the day. A little fertilizer on their part might have made all the difference in the timing. Bushel basket anyone?
Prayer: Lord, when we hold ourselves in righteous indignation above others, give us a word or two to share, a little fertilizer, if you will. And Lord, if necessary, spread a little on us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.