Nasty Pumpkins and Nasty People

We’ve had family in town over the past few days and honestly, my body has not moved from the couch very often as the first trimester icks have kicked in big time.  Ryan wrote this a few weeks ago and has graciously allowed me to use it today. I also love a sneak peek into his brain, I hope you do too. 

 Halloween has come and gone and cavities are being created from all of our children’s hard earned loot. Halloween is often a favorite of most children and candy is the #1 reason. For me, I hated dressing up but was happy to do whatever it took to collect sweets that were rare around my house as a child. The ritual of carving pumpkins was also part of my childhood and though I am not a big fan of it today, it has become a tradition of my children as well. The joy I had creating masterpiece scary faces as a child has been masked in adulthood with the daunting task of digging out ewey, gooey, cold pumpkin flesh so my children can do their best to fashion the same artful creations of their own. I don’t remember the mess that was left behind and the worst part of all as I found out last Halloween is they don’t last long. In Michigan last year, Jess took on the carving of pumpkins just a week or two before the big day. The result of 6 masterfully whittled orange designs quickly became slimy, moldy, stinky piles of mush within days. I as dad and the one unwilling to help with the carving, received the honor of disposing of the heaps. Rather than delicately gathering them into bags and throwing them in the trash, I lazily took a shovel and scraped them off the porch into the mulch slightly hidden by our bushes. As I was sitting in church today, for whatever reason, I remembered that day vividly as our preacher reminded us to reach out to the lost and plant seeds however we can. Jess and I agree that we should meet fellow sinners where they are and both abide by the quote “hate the sin but love the sinner.” I am guilty of avoiding people who don’t smell pleasant or look different or any number of reasons that don’t fit the “norm” in my eyes. They are just like the rotten pumpkins at times and it’s not fair that I think that way but it is human. But is it Christian? It is one thing to be turned off by someone’s presence, location or circumstances, but it is another to avoid that person because of it. Their sin just like mine is that ewey, gooey, cold flesh that our past is made up of. God can make beautiful creations out of our messy centers and nobody is excluded. As we prepared for our move to Tennessee, I was doing some much needed cleanup in our yard when I realized there was what seemed to be the largest weed I had ever seen that started in our bushes and stretched over the sidewalk and into the other side of our front porch. Not exactly what a potential buyer would appreciate in their future home. As I followed the vine from one end to the other, I realized it was a pumpkin vine and had several small green buds about to become next year’s lot of Halloween treats. Now, all I did was scrape it into the mulch and never thought of it again, a stinky heap of moldy mush. That mess produced several new pumpkins with no nurturing or attention but without knowing, I surrounded that pumpkin seed near plants that I did water and nurture. I planted a seed and didn’t even know it and even better, that seed produced several other pumpkins which in turn would produce even more the following year. That’s a long story for such a simple lesson, plant seeds every chance you get and let God do the rest. Who knows, maybe some simple yet kind act could produce a huge crop that you had very little to do with. That’s my 2 cents…

Just keep livin!!

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