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The Good Gardener

(This post comes from John Joseph.)

An ancient story tells of a gardener who came across a tree that wasn't bearing fruit. He had two choices. He could cut the tree down and plant a new one in its place or do what he could to help the tree become fruitful.  

He chose the latter, dug around the tree’s roots, fertilized it, watered it, and waited. After a time, the tree became lush with fruit and the gardener was satisfied with his labor.

When it comes to recovering from childhood sexual trauma, our souls are the tree and we are the gardener. Often our lives are fruitless because of the damage we’ve suffered. Like the tree, we stand in the garden of life with little to show for our existence. Just as trees were made to blossom and be fruitful, we're made to enjoy our own being and relationships with others. When we're barren, we experience frustration and often choose to cut ourselves down in one way or another.

There is a better way.

The gardener in the story did four important things. He dug around the roots, watered, fertilized, and waited. If we are to see growth and fruitfulness, we must be like the good gardener. We must choose to give the tree another chance.

Digging around the roots is hard work. It's the painful shoveling out of the old, diseased ways of thinking and behaving. Sometimes we have to dig deeply to replace the rocky dirt with fertile soil.

After we’ve dug, we water our souls with truth, beauty, and purity. We fertilize with knowledge and wisdom from many sources.

Then we wait.

Waiting is the hardest thing. Our penchant for immediate gratification often undermines our soul’s growth. But after we’ve done the work of digging, watering, and fertilizing, our part is to watch and wait, to let the soul blossom once again.

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