Posted by: pmarkrobb | July 12, 2013

try homegrown

I spent each day last week sitting outside during my sacred time with God.  The sounds of nature can sometimes distract, but sitting quietly in the midst of it last week actually drew me closer to Him.  At either the beginning or end of my time each day, I spent a few minutes focusing in on something unique.  One morning it was the family of rabbits that have taken up residence somewhere in our backyard, feeding together on clover.  Another morning it was a smallish bird that sat for what seemed like forever perched all by itself on a high power line.  I was in full observation mode, but most mornings the sole outcome was a pencil sketch.  My Tuesday morning, however, had my senses on high alert, and the following thoughts flowed out of that experience.

For a few summers when I was a kid, my parents grew tomatoes in containers on the steps of our backyard deck.  We loved fresh tomato and mayonnaise sandwiches in the summertime, and come August during those particular summers, we were in heaven.  For the simple reason that there is absolutely no substitute for the fullness of flavor and freshness in things you grow yourself.  A store-bought tomato can taste really good, but it is nothing close to biting into one that’s been homegrown.  Even if you don’t like tomatoes, I am sure this truth resonates with you with some other sort of vegetable or fruit.  I fully believe this is the way God intended it.

Earlier in the Spring, my wife purchased some container plants to compliment our backyard seating area.  It’s really a section of driveway behind our house, and she always does such a great job of softening and coloring the normally plain setting with plants and flowers.  This year, among her expert choices was a cherry tomato plant.  I was excited to see it added to the “landscape,” and began dreaming of the day when brilliant red tomatoes dotted the healthy vines.

While that day of promise had arrived a bit earlier than expected with two beautiful red cherry tomatoes begging to be picked that Tuesday morning, my attention was drawn to several dead leaves.  I spent a few minutes removing those leaves and few other troublesome areas that I found on closer inspection.  As I sat back down and began to sketch the plant, I rested my head in my hands and caught a whiff of the most glorious scent.  I was instantly transported to my backyard porch, and the roadside stands on our way to Ocean City, NJ.  It was the scent of the vine, the unmistakable fragrance on the flesh of a fresh tomato.

My mind went instantly to the Bible, and the unmistakable fragrance of pure scripture.  So many times in my life I have relied on someone else to break down, discern, or translate scripture for me.  I had convinced myself that it took someone with years of training to extract its nutrition and share it with me; that I was not capable of doing that on my own.  And then one day a dear brother suggested that I just begin reading the Bible for myself.  I was going to need help, no doubt, but the Spirit was ready and willing, and waiting for me to ask.

I’m not suggesting that my store-bought tomatoes didn’t nourish me.  They tasted good, and did (still do) yield fruit in my life.  There are some really good local and commercial farmers out there.  But I am suggesting there is an unmistakable fragrance on the flesh of a tomato when it’s homegrown.  And there is an explosive burst of flavor and joy when you bite into one.

If store-bought sounds familiar, petition for the courage to try homegrown.  Experience the scent of the vine … and The Vine himself!



  1. WooHoo! Good stuff!

  2. Sounds like a truly Heavenly experience!

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