Friendship is a Shovel -- By Elizabeth Price

I heard a Nobel Peace Prize winner say once there were things she just had to do or she would die. I know what she meant. I have to grow things.

So on the dry and barren hillside that was my garden-to-be, I made plant areas. The soil protested, the weeds protested and the rocks protested. Plants were established with pain. It was hard work but such is my need to grow things, it was a case of pain or perish!

Then after a hard summer without rain, I was digging around my roses and geraniums, keeping the soil loose and adding dried grass I had gathered to mulch them.

The early morning sky was heavy, intense clouds had gathered, birds were silent and creation waited. Everything was still except for my busy little shovel.

When the rain came it came in huge drops and I lingered for the pleasure of them. They dropped steadily at first then faster and faster. The smell of rain on dry earth was intoxicating.

Rivulets ran down the hillside over the hard surface but I noticed one thing; where I had shovelled and mulched and nurtured the soil, the rain soaked in. It did not run off, it stayed and saturated. It did all the good that it could do, it nourished the plants deep to the roots. They drank and drank deeply.

It was a picture of growing friends in Christ. We loosen the soil of their thoughts with the gentleness of God’s love for them; their weeds of pain are replaced with the sufficiency of Christ; their rocks of tradition are made into candle-holders to shed the light of the gospel.

It is hard work but when the Lord sees them he can say “You are like a well-watered garden.” (Isaiah 58:11).

Elizabeth Price