Friday, July 15, 2011

If You Like to Talk to Tomatoes

This summer I’ve had an obsession with tomatoes - I hit a great sale and ended up with 20 plants! I’m excited about my plants and looking forward to enjoying them.

I was telling my father, once a farmer, about how great the plants were doing and how some of them had grown so they were now taller than me. His response took me by surprise - he said I needed to strip the bottoms of the bushy plants so to reap more fruit. Take off leaves? Strip my plants of what I thought was the proof of being healthy?

I decided to just wait and see….guess what? Very few tomatoes - so Britta and I have been out thinning the bottoms of the plants leaving them rather straggly but with the promise of producing the fruits that they were made to produce. Got me thinking about my life and the fruit I’m supposed to be producing and the process of maybe needing to be trimmed so I can be productive.

I shared last time about my sweet daughter Alaena who has down syndrome. Awhile back her physical therapist had me order a special seat for her from the “Special Tomato” web site. The story behind the site struck home and I’ve thought of it often as I’ve been growing my garden….

The Special Tomato of My Family

My dad and mom had four children. The first three children were healthy and regular people. Than I cam along, a baby with a difference, Down syndrome. I had a hole in my heart, a rip in my heart value, jaundice, a big tongue and a wobbly head. As I got older I also realized I was a slow learner.

One day it was bothering me that I was having a hard time doing my school work. I told my dad about this problem and he shared a story about when he was out in his garden picking tomatoes the year I was born. Every year my dad grows a garden and loves to plant tomatoes. At harvest time there were beefsteak tomatoes on a bush. When he saw a differently shaped tomato it got his attention. It had a large, smooth bright red enlarged side that made my dad want to pick it up and study the bump because it was so unique and looked appetizing. At supper, that tomato was just as juicy as the others.

Even though I’m different like the tomato as a person with Down syndrome, my family and friends love me even more and want to help me when I need it. My dad tells me that even thought I have more difficulty learning than my brother and sisters, my loveable and outgoing personality and strong character make me just as special as they are. I guess I am the special “tomato” on our family’s bush!

Carrie Bergeron copyright 2001 special

Isn’t that a neat way to look at life - we are all “special” in the eyes of Jesus. So I’m out gathering my tomatoes - traditional big boys, beefeaters but my favorites are the yellow pear, striped and heirloom - not “regular” tomatoes but ones that take just a little longer to mature but ones that I love with a new insight. God is looking forward to his garden too…

Loving Jesus and leaning into Him