Today, when I was preparing for a meeting, Sharon and Glenn Meerdink walked into the conference room. They held a large box of produce. “This is from our garden!” Glenn announced. “You all need to help yourselves to it, because we don’t want to take any of it home again.” At the conclusion of the meeting, I peered into the box and beheld beautiful and ripe heirloom tomatoes and cucumbers. Sharon has grown these tomatoes from seeds, not starter plants, and her months of diligent work and tender cultivation have resulted in a gorgeous yield.
And what a yield! The harvest is abundant. Around this time of year, I am drawn to contemplate the humble zucchini, which may be the best embodiment of an abundant harvest. As many of you know, zucchini is one of the easiest vegetables to cultivate in our climate. A bounteous reaping of zucchini can dramatically alter social dynamics. When a neighbor or a friend spots a gardener in the summer months, they know that the interaction will not be complete until the gardener has dumped pounds of zucchini into their arms. I have heard stories of people who have such a bumper crop that they resort to dropping grocery bags full of their zucchini on neighbors’ and strangers’ porches, timing the delivery when the person isn’t home and thus making their gift impossible to refuse.
I heard a friend once suggest that we should cultivate zucchini love as Christians. Zucchini the squash grows in abundance such that we cannot consume it all on our own; it must be shared. The quality of our love in Christ must be similar: it is not to be hoarded; it must be shared. Love is to be so plentiful that it alters all of our relationships. As eager as a gardener giving zucchini away, so we must be eager to love one another. Friends, let us cultivate zucchini love: love that is abundant and necessitates our generosity so that we constantly seeking to give love away.
“Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.” -1 John 4:11-12