My dad was a green thumb. At every house he lived in, he would plant something. I remember him digging up the rose bushes from one house and planting them at the next house we moved to. He liked planting trees, too. When my uncle visited my parents while my dad was in the hospital, he was able to pick several fruits from their trees in the backyard. My uncle had a long drive back to his home, across the country, and was excited to eat the fresh citrus. I remember growing up, and my dad would spend his time after work, tending to his yards. He would take the time to water all of his trees and other plants. The front lawn always had sprinklers, and most of the time would be on timers so that they would be watered regularly and at the best time of day. His trees and other plants had his personal attention.
My dad passed away in December of last year. This spring, his trees and plants are still growing, and the lawn still looks good. My mom still uses the same lawncare company when my dad was alive, ever since my dad's declining health prevented him from mowing the lawn himself. My dad tried to do as much as he could on his own, but it became harder and harder. Neighbors also have been helping my mom out, knowing how dedicated my dad was with his yard. My dad did the same thing! He used to mow his own lawn and sometimes continue into the adjacent yard so that his hardworking and tired neighbor would not have to do it.
My dad rarely gave me the chore of taking care of the lawn. I still have never mowed a lawn. Instead, my dad, in his quiet way, showed me that caring for something regularly could produce something good. I grew up at the edge of a desert. The natural topsoil was hard, dry and clay-like, not good for growing much of anything. Much had to be done to get anything to grow, but people still did it. With ingenuity and backbreaking work, people could actually succeed.
We are told to spread the Word about Jesus. We tell people that Jesus loves them. Some people believe it right away, or at least want to know more. Others want nothing to do with Jesus. We still have to tell others though. And, we still have to love others. We do it because God commanded us, and we love Him with all our hearts, minds, and souls. It could be that how we love someone will get them to know Jesus. Our actions speak louder than words.
10 And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. 11 And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, 12 so that
“‘they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.’”
13 And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. 16 And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. 17 And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. 18 And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, 19 but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 20 But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” (Mark 4:10-20 English Standard Version)