I often dream of living on some type of farm, with some land, a creek, plenty of trees, and maybe a few chickens so that it looks authentic. But so far, the closest I’ve come to farming is this garden, our biggest yet.
Living in a suburban area on a plot without many trees sometimes leaves me feeling bereft, like I’m missing something, and I should be somewhere else– on that dream spot of land, for example, sitting under a tree. Maybe I’d be staring at the sky and dreaming, or maybe reading a book.
I want that place, but I also don’t want to be too far from where others dwell and live. I do like being close to a good library, a well-stocked grocery store, etc. My dream location is that farm, but a place close enough to people living, so that our lives can intersect and live and learn together.
God has taught me lessons through the living things of this world, in that thin space where the troposphere meets the thriving and blooming life on land. Our earth is incredibly beautiful, and the plants which die and are buried and grow again, and the seasons of planting and harvesting, are reminders of God’s truths.
I don’t know that I’d necessarily learn more on a farm. Maybe the lessons would be taught differently. Ultimately I’m still a soul in need of His grace and forgiveness, and I’m learning wherever I happen to be.
Jesus died, like a seed buried, to sow new life, so that others may also have the gift of that life. I’m thankful that I’m loved enough by Him that my heart’s soil is churned and turned over, even painfully so. He works through the hardest dirt– my heart — and plants seeds of hope, with promises of a new character and a new life. In little ways and big, I am renewed again and again, growing and pruned, connected to Him, the true vine of life. He pours life-giving water over me. I am grafted on His branch, as an adopted child, and He takes care of me as His own. He pulls away the weeds of selfishness, sin, and pride that threaten to choke my growth. It hurts. But His work is beautiful and good, so that I look like a flower that belongs on His vine.
Perhaps this longing is for heaven, where C.S. Lewis describes a land that is alive (in his book The Great Divorce). If this is but a shadow of the world to come, then the real farm of beauty is yet to be, with trees and flowering delights and colors the likes of which we cannot imagine. I believe in this place, I belong in this place, my true home.
In the meantime, I’ll still hold onto a little bit of hope of living on a piece of earth fuller with trees, where I am reminded of His life-giving ways, where I can bask in the beauty of the land… a place which reminds me of that which is to come.