The following is a spoken word piece I wrote for The Bridge Church Fresno to share as part of the “I am, You are, We are” series. You can watch the piece here. The transcript of the piece is below.
They told me He was a Master,
the most skilled Gardener in all the land.
I had to trust His gentle, yet mighty hands.
He planted me, helped me to burrow deep into
the soft, rich soil He had carefully prepared for me.
I drifted to sleep dreaming of becoming
a magnificent tree one day.
When I woke up, I felt an awful ache in my belly.
It was the most excruciating pain –
like a pushing and pulling at the same time.
I wondered if this was normal.
I felt like my heart was breaking open,
birthing pains surging through my body.
I reached out for the Master Gardener,
but I couldn’t see Him in the darkness.
I heard a gentle whisper,
“I am doing a new thing.”
These words strengthened me.
“I will be with you.”
I reached out for Him,
sending my new roots through the soil
to seek Him, to chase after Him, to find Him.
I was thirsty, and He provided
all the water I could drink – and more –
until I was filled to overflowing.
I wanted to be like those mother trees
I saw planted by the water.
They did not fear the heat to come
and their leaves always seemed green.
Then I heard a deep voice above,
bellowing, beckoning me.
“Arise, little one,” He said.
It was the Gardener King!
He wanted to see me.
He was inviting me out into the world.
Rays of angled light danced above me.
I reached out with all the power, wisdom and knowledge
He had given me underground.
He lifted my head, and I began to grow.
First, I was a little shoot, but the more time
we spent together the longer and stronger
my branches and limbs grew.
I waved to the other trees in the orchard.
Then one day, the Gardener Counselor came to me.
He said it was pruning time.
Pruning was an important part
of the journey for a tree, He explained.
Pruning would shape me and stimulate new growth.
Methodically, He clipped and cut, clipped and cut.
He stood back and waited, and then cut some more.
His sharp clippers touched every one of my branches,
especially the biggest ones.
I tried to focus my eyes on the Father Gardener
when I ached, when I felt naked in the garden
with my ugly, bare branches extended for everyone to see.
“Abide in me,” He said to soothe my soul.
“The harvest is yet to come.”
I waited, I wondered, I rested.
It felt like many long winter days, months
that I did not see the sun or my Gardener Friend.
When grief and insecurity crept in,
I had to remember the words He had spoken
when I was just a seed living underground.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
“I love you with an everlasting love.”
“I rejoice over you with singing.”
After enduring many long days,
new green leaves appeared on my branches.
I saw the Gardener Shepherd tending to
other plants and trees in the garden too.
New life was awakened all around me.
And then came the blooms!
Pale pink and white petals perched
on every branch across the orchard.
I was not the only one coming alive with color,
flashes of purple, crimson and gold;
faith, hope and love lit up every corner.
I could not help but give thanks for the work
accomplished in each of us
through the Gardener who Sees.
We were flourishing together in His garden.
But the surprising joy came after my flowers dropped their petals.
After death, sprung a kind of
redemption, restoration, resurrection.
Fruit ripened in the places where flowers once bloomed.
I was reminded of our Gardener Provider,
who was faithful to plant the seed and send the rain,
who lovingly pruned, nourished and cultivated me
through the winter and spring months.
The Master Gardener made his way over to me.
With great delight he plucked a plump peach
from one of my branches.
He sunk his teeth into the flesh of that fruit
and juice chased down to His elbow.
He smiled at me, holding the fruit.
Finally, He gently removed the seed and bent to plant
it in the soil not far from my trunk.
Then He spoke these words over me…
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1)