Last year while reaping green peas from the kitchen garden, the Holy Spirit spoke to me through a parable. I tried to shake the notion that it was indeed the Holy Spirit, but the stories being poured into my spirit confirmed it, and there was no doubt.
I saw in the garden that there were a number of green pea trees of similar height growing in several garden rows, but I was taller than all of them. I could not count the leaves; I could not count the green peas growing on them.
The pea pods grow in clusters of varying numbers which were mostly identical in size and color. The color of the peas was green; however, some were red, and some had spots, all in the same pod.
There were young pods - the peas not fully developed. There were old pods - the peas that had dried while still on the tree.
There were peas with holes caused by worms, still in the pod.
There were green leaves, yellow leaves, and dried leaves on the trees, as well as on the ground.
There were blossoms on the trees. There were bumble bees feeding at the blossoms. There were spiders casting webs between the leaves and the trees to block the path of the reaper. The webs are traps for the spider’s food and for it to rest, even though they are a bother to me.
This garden, full of life, is like us – the children of God. Every aspect of these food bearing trees was given a purpose.
“For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members, one of another” (Romans 12:4-5)
The Spirit showed me individuals in families, in churches, in World Day of Prayer (WDP) groups, in villages, in communities on God’s earth, all with the same beginning. As we all grow, various things happen in our lives which caused us to develop. But the development for each person or family, church, WDP committee, and definitely a village, are different.
We have all been given the gifts and promises by God with the opportunities to thrive and to flourish. Yet not everyone thrives and flourishes, or makes it to the ‘pot’. Circumstances cause us to fall or fail.
The Holy Spirit taught me through a garden patch of green peas that, the color of our skin, the way we have developed, financially, socially, psychologically or otherwise, does not separate us from God. Even though these things separate us from each other at times, we were all created by the same God who loves us all the same.
I did not attend to the pea trees in their infancy. I was not the planter. I did not know them intimately, but God did. The trees grew and the branches touched each other across the garden rows. The Holy Spirit helps us to thrive and flourish in the situation we find ourselves in. Like the bumble bee going from blossom to blossom, the Holy Spirit comes to us to teach us the truth and to guide us.
- Rev. Ruth V. E. Phillips, WDPIC Caribbean & North America Regional Representative