What My Tomato Taught Me

black cherry tomato 1My Black Cherry tomato and my black labrador retriever, JD.

My tomato plant looks big and busy if you take a quick glance–the vines keep getting longer and the blooms keep coming. But but but, if you look closely at the plant, you notice that the central vines don’t look so good. They’re pale, yellowed, dried up.

Like many of us people with a chronic illness, the plant’s sickly status is noticeable if you study it closely: my tomato has fusarium wilt (and I have fibromyalgia and hypermobility syndrome).

black cherry tomato 2A closer look at my sickly tomato plant.

Today, my tomato plant schooled me. Here is what it taught me:

  1. Keep to your work as best you can, as long as you can, even when your health is impaired.
  2. The sick plant still needs sunshine and water.
  3. New growth wears lively green; older parts shrivel to brown, then crumble. When you see the shriveled remnant, you can be sure work has been completed. 
  4. Flaws, visible or not, lurk in us all.
  5. The sick plant gives fewer tomatoes, but those tomatoes are delicious.
  6. All the bad bits can be cut out, but it requires a severe pruning. 
  7. The healthy limbs continue to reach headlong for the heavens.

pruned tomoto

All the bad bits are cut out. JD the black labrador supervises.

rabbit conga

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith,we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 5:1-5 (ESV)

rabbit conga

On Tuesdays, we’re returning to our discussion of families and the joys and challenges that arise when we stretch across three (or more?) generations (child, parent, grandparent). The conversation began on January sixth and we’ll continue until we run out of things to say. Everyone is welcome, and I hope to hear from each generation’s perspective.  Being family is by turns effortless, impossible, blessed, challenging, hurtful, joyous . . . . Let’s talk about it.

Please join us. Be a part of the conversation.

rabbit conga

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