"It's a great thing you are doing there," a friend said to me. "Yes, but it isn't a ministry- it's a job," was my reply. Our conversation continued with her challenge to me- look for the ministry in the job. Though I politely smiled, there was doubt in my mind I would find it, after all, God isn't allowed in schools.
As is my daily routine, prayers were lifted during my long drive- a 7:15 garden group would be waiting for me. The strong aroma of onion sets kept distracting me as I tried to focus on the road and my conversation. Could there be a ministry in the job? Doubtful, I unloaded garden tools and waited for the students to arrive.
Gathered there in the drizzle, four young gardeners and I huddled over a pile of seedlings to separate them in preparation for planting. One per hole, hand width apart, single file along the edge of each bed- we planted dozens of onions for 'salsa gardens'. Kneeling elbow to elbow with a sweet little red head a conversation began with - I thought of you at church yesterday.
There, frozen in a moment of time, I looked into her clear blue eyes in wonder of her comment waiting to hear more. In Sunday school we talked about how God made everything. Have you ever had a moment where the whole world disappeared and time stood still? She and I were all I could see as she continued- I told them I knew He made the broccoli and the peas we are growing here- He gave those seeds what they need to grow. He made the herbs and all the food we cook every day. A smile was all I could muster; amazement filled my heart.
The truth is: we never know the impact our presence, our character has on another. I will never know how this inner connection works; how others are able to 'sense' God in us, but I will be forever touched and humbled by this simple encounter in the garden.