Seeds of Peace
On Earth Day 2017 I attended a workshop at Cedar Park called Gardening with God led by contemplative activist, author, and master gardener Christine Sine. At the beginning of the workshop, Christine mentioned that her exploration of gardening and spirituality began as she asked people the question, “What helps you connect with God?” Over and over people told Christine that being outside in nature helped them become alive to the presence of the sacred. As she reflected upon this common response Christine began to wonder why we gather indoors to engage in the traditional spiritual practices of corporate worship, prayer, and Scripture reading. In the middle of the workshop, Christine led us outside to walk the church grounds. Like the Celts we were invited to consider the translucency of nature – beholding creation with the belief that God can be seen through it. She also led us through the process of creating seed bombs by rolling together clay, soil, and wildflower seeds. Christine encouraged us to drop these seed bombs into the empty lots, potholes, and dreary places in our neighbourhood. This act of guerrilla gardening is meant to sow seeds of redemption, beauty, and new life in a world where too many bombs are dropped in acts of destruction, disfigurement, and death.
Although acts of grisly violence erupt daily all over the world, a peaceful and creative resistance is growing in the margins.
I carried a handful of seed bombs home and invited my five-year-old daughter Eden to accompany me on a walk through our neighbourhood in search of targets for our campaign. Over the past two months, we have enjoyed watching these bombs yield new growth in the cracks and neglected places around us. As we walk to school each tiny sprout reminds us that although acts of grisly violence erupt daily all over the world, a peaceful and creative resistance is growing in the margins. This blog is intended to be space to share stories of where we see, and long to see, God’s kingdom cropping up our lives. It is a place to tell others about our everyday stumbles and strides in following Jesus. Where have you become aware of God’s redemptive presence in our neighbourhood? When have you caught a glimpse of resilient new life emerging in tough places? Tell one another about where you sense God is at work. Bear witness to your encounters with Truth. Celebrate sightings of Shalom.
Guidelines for Blog Contributions
What kind of story should I tell?
- Did you experience a “God moment” in the home, at work, in the garden, or in the neighbourhood that recently had a profound impact on you?
- Do you have a story of an everyday example of a successful or failed attempt at peacemaking?
- Did you recently attend an event that impacted you spiritually?
- Did you successfully resolve a parental conflict with a win/win outcome?
- Did you have an experience in nature that revealed God’s character to you?
- Did you try to reconcile a dispute with a neighbour but things went sour?
- Did a recent encounter with a piece of art (music, visual art, theatre, etc.) affect you on a spiritual level?
- Were you expanded by an encounter with a stranger, neighbour, or enemy?
- Were your eyes recently opened to a social need or injustice that you did not see before?
- Have you experienced God’s presence in the midst of suffering lately?
- How have you experimented with integrating spirituality into your family’s life rhythms?
- Have you extended or recieved forgiveness lately?
How do I post a story?
Simply submit your story via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll proofread your story and post it.
Do I need to have a cool photo?
Photos help us contextualize and visualize your story. Consider submitting a high-resolution photo along with your story. Need help finding an image? Let us know and we’ll send you some options.
How long should my story be?
As a general guideline, shorter is better than longer. Try to tell your story in less than 600 words.
Can I post about this cool event I know of?
Events are best promoted elsewhere. Our Cedar Park weekly eNewsletter (send items to email@example.com) and Facebook (firstname.lastname@example.org) are better places to let people know about kingdom oriented events you are excited about.
Eden doing some guerrilla gardening.
Beauty blossoming beneath a traffic light three months later.