Friday, September 21, 2018

God's Promise in a Tomato Plant by Jordyn Redwood


There’re a lot of things I do well . . . gardening is not one of them. This is somewhat surprising since I’m a nurse. You would think helping heal children would translate well to the botanic arts. It doesn’t—at least not for this author. If your child has a broken arm I’m right there with you, game plan in hand. However, if your garden is suffering from any sort of terrible plant disease (Club Root, Downey Mildew, and Mosaic Virus—keep in mind I have no idea what these are or how to treat them) I’m the last person you should call.

All this doesn’t mean I don’t try my hand at gardening. I don’t know why—it’s like playing a game I seemingly can’t win, but I pursue the battle none the less. Call me Nurse Black Thumb. This year was more trying than ever. I tried growing starter plants inside (which I have successfully improved upon

over the last three years), but as soon as I planted them outside, they died in the blistering heat in three days. Some of my problem is my family is not as dedicated to the garden as I try to be so if I’m working a stretch of night shifts no one is really keeping my little samplings alive. 

After all my starter plants died, I headed to a large nursery to see what they had left over, which was quite a bit—and at fifty percent off because it was now mid-June. Nevertheless, I purchased zucchini, yellow squash, and a lot of different tomatoes and babied those younglings along, sunbathing them a little each day, until they were “acclimated” so I could plant them in the sun and hopefully they would stay alive. They did—and actually grew.

However, the plants didn’t perform as well as I would have liked. I think the bees were not busy enough as I only got a measly two zucchini from three plants and there were plenty of blossoms. I thought about shaking my fist at the sky, “Come on bees, there are talks named after you. Don’t let me down!” Come to find out, you can aid in this process of pollinating blossoms, but that seemed a little bit beyond my gardening wherewithal. My “healthy kick” tomatoes (this was really their name) were the most sickly of the bunch—go figure. I think God finds humor in all of this.

Two tomato plants I tried to grow in pots on our patio. I did well forcing my children to water them daily. All was well until I went to a writer’s conference for four days straight. Guess what? No one watered those two tomato plants. They’d already been through several traumas—knocked over by wind storms, etc. When I saw their brown, curling leaves I gave up trying to salvage them. Too far gone.

I don’t know why, but I kept those plants, slowly dying, on my deck for the rest of the summer. A few days ago, I looked out and among the dead, crispy corpses was one bright red tomato. I had my youngest daughter, a budding photographer, capture the sight. Seemingly, every bit of life that plant had to give had been poured into this one, single tomato. All I could think was—this is what Jesus did for us. Dying, withering on that cross so each of us could have life.

I don’t know if this spiritual lesson was something God wanted me to see from my gardening failures, but I do believe there are little insights into everything we do if we just put down our phones (or whatever glowing rectangles you might be looking at) and consider the divine intricacy of the world around us. When I do this, I see touches of God in nearly everything. A child’s smile. A neighbor helping another.

And in one tiny perfect tomato.

Where do you see miracles?

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Jordyn Redwood is a pediatric nursing supervisor by night, suspense novelist by day. She hosts Redwood’s Medical Edge, a blog devoted to helping contemporary and historical authors write medically accurate fiction. Jordyn’s novels have been nominated for multiple awards and she recently won the Contemporary Romance Writers Stiletto Contest with her novel Taken Hostage. You can connect with Jordyn via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and her website.  


12 comments:

  1. Jordyn, I can so relate to the gardening brown thumb. I love gardening, carefully digging in the soil to plan, then water, and are for those time plants, but unfortunately, the harvest is small. This year I actually had squash grow. I was so proud. Thank you for the reminder that God speaks to us in many ways. We just have to be less distracted to listen.

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    1. Glad there is a fellow "black thumb" out there trying to grow a garden! Here's to your success next year.

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  2. I am not into gardening, but love your post. I know God speaks to me..in many ways, and what a great feeling.
    I am shopping for your books; what's not to love about Christian medical fiction, suspense!?!

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    1. Awww- thank you Jackie! Drop me a line if you get a chance to check out one of my novels.

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  3. Hi, Jordyn! I love this post--and I love to catch glimpses of God's heart around me in all the little details--like your tomato!

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    1. Hi Friend!

      I miss you! Hope you are having an amazing time at ACFW.

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  4. Hi Jordyn! I'm a big fan of tomatoes but I do not possess a green thumb. My own miracle happened this summer when I bought some plants at the market and took a chance and planted them in my side yard. Lo and behold, they are doing beautifully and I have some red and green peppers out there. That's a miracle for sure in my world. Blessings.

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    1. Hi Belle,

      Yes, I basically need plants that can survive on their own . . . for sure ;)!

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  5. I can relate to your gardening woes! My basil houseplant nearly died until I moved it outside. Then it nearly died in the heat. Hubby and I were in Ireland for the last ten days and came home to find a much more healthy basil plant. Not sure what happened while I was gone. Maybe it was that I WAS gone. Go figure.

    I do love the miracle of creation. Seeing the beauty of Ireland...all the green countryside...and enjoying sunshine and blue skies most of the time we traveled was a gift from the Lord. He does a magnificent job with this earth, whether in the USA or on foreign turf.

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    1. I agree-- I think God speaks to us through creation all the time. If we can just open our eyes to see it.

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