What a surprise to see a blooming weed growing under the overhang of the house. I found it wasn’t actually growing there. The bloom was attached to a root 12 feet away. That vegetation had grown straight up the open corner of vinyl siding in search of a better view and sunshine.

The very nature of plants is that they grow, blossom and climb.

About ten feet away from the root of that flowering weed is Carole’s mobile tomato patch. Our yard has a limited area where the sun is available for any length of time, so the lady planted her tomatoes in large pots and put them in a red wagon so she could put them where the sun was. The plants are growing vines, but the little tomatoes do not mature. They begin to rot from the bottom up before they ripen.

Nothing wants to climb more than a tomato plant. Unless you have found one, I can’t think of one use for a tomato vine. The purpose is to grow vegetables. Our plants are good at vines and blossoms. It is just the red tomato growing to maturity they fail at. If you are a gardener, you probably know why. We are not gardeners, so we don’t.

Maybe tomatoes were never meant to take it on the road. Could it be that the shaky wagon trips or changing neighborhoods damages the mechanism?

Are you a grower? Followers of Jesus grow because of their new nature. If we don’t, something is not right with the soil, the seed or environment. I know it preaches, but I also believe it to be true. We naturally will blossom and climb unless there is an impediment.

A friend asked if we were pulling off the “suckers.” Someone once told me to do that, but I forgot until Joel mentioned it. Oops.

What would “growth” look like? My knee-jerk response is to list something I’ve learned or a cognitive insight. I’m reading 6-8 books every day. Currently, I’m reading a book by a woman with tattoos, a loud laugh who wears cowboy boots and regularly assaults my soul with global challenges. I’m also reading a book by a refined lady who talks a lot about fruit and vegetables we seldom stock in our pantry or fridge. I’m reading marketers, film producers, personal coaches, marriage experts and Robert Benson’s book on the life of writing.

I’m learning about blogging, podcasting, writing dialogue, missional living while working my way through the Major Prophets in the Bible. But, growing? I’m not sure about that.

After hearing about Robin Williams’ death, I watched clips from Chonda Pierce’s DVD about her stay in “Rehab and Recovery” and her bouts with depression. (YouTube––Chonda+Pierce–depression&FORM=VIRE2#view=detail&mid=13F961B042AF9ABA679513F961B042AF9ABA6795 ) As always, I was moved by her description of “group” and her statement, “That’s what I’ve always expected or wanted the Church to be….”

I wondered if Mr. Williams was in “group.”

Group! Kind words, warm hugs, feet under the table, tough questions, verbalized high expectations and proud high fives. That produces!

(c)2014 D. Dean Benton

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