Viewpoint from Jan Tapp 13/12/2013
Are people like plants?
Project Manager TLC
A Christian outreach project working in Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and Lowestoft
My father was a keen gardener and so I grew up loving gardening because it meant time with him – precious time in the company of my Dad who I knew without doubt loved me
He taught me a lot about plants and their need for different types of soil, differing amounts of water and sunlight, and different types of food to thrive. So, when two different ‘gardeners’ spoke to me I was able to understand their frustrations and joy!
The first gardener had planted peas but it had taken three attempts to harvest a crop. Why? Well, the first seeds, he told me, had been eaten by the birds. The second set had rotted due to heavy rain. But on his third attempt to grow peas he’d planted the seeds under nets and the weather had changed to a mixture of sunshine and showers – perfect growing weather and the plants thrived and produced peas! Isn’t that like people – needing the right environment to flourish?
My second gardener friend who was new to the skill of gardening was trying to grow pumpkins. He proudly showed me the plants. They were green and healthy with ten flowers, which he was eagerly awaiting the day when he thought he would crop ten large pumpkins. In order to support the plants spreading shoots he had tied them to pea sticks! Now I know (because my Dad had told me) that pumpkins grow on the ground and the weight of a pumpkin can not be held by a pea stick. Isn’t that like people? We need the right support around us to enable us to grow and thrive. We need good friends who can encourage us and will us on our life journey. Some folks only take from us, they drain us of energy, money and time leaving us feeling weak
I know (because my Dad told me) that ten flowers left to grow on the pumpkin plant will produce ten very small pumpkins. In order to produce large healthy pumpkins you must reduce the amount you grow. Isn’t that like people? If we try to do too much, are on too many committees, give too much time to work or hobbies we end up producing very little of value
Stop and think which gardener are we? Are we supporting others in our lives with the right environment for them to grow healthy and strong? Some people need a comforting arm and a listening ear, whilst other needs space. Some people need noise and people to energise them, whilst others needs quiet and time alone
I think people are like plants, well that’s what my Dad told me!?!!!