Love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.”1 Peter 4:8
I have often pondered heaven. This place of eternal peace. Being in communion with the saints. Eternally in the presence of God. A state of tremendous happiness and joy, praising God for who He is for the rest of our life. However, I have often wondered what I would be “doing” or if I would just be in a state of “being.”
What does heaven mean for us, personally? When we think of how we would like to spend eternity, what does that look like? Will heaven be tailored to our desires and interests?
In my limited human understanding of heaven being a place of eternal happiness and joy, I love to contemplate my “perfect view” of heaven. In this view/perspective, the Lord would hold my hand and show me a slideshow of all my interactions. He would show me all the little conversations I had, events in my life, and then the fruits of those decisions. One by one, I would be allowed to witness how my small, selfless acts of love “fed” the body of Christ. How glorious that would be to witness! He would show me the fruits of my harvest. All the seeds that I had planted throughout my life in friendship.
Not that I have accomplished “big things” here on earth, but that the Lord would use my small acts of love to bring about His Glory. St. Therese often talks about how the best way to Jesus is through our littleness and doing little things with great love.
Remember that nothing is small in the eyes of God. Do all that you do with love.”St. Thérèse
Gardening has always been a spiritual experience for me. When I first moved into my home over ten years ago, I was so eager to start our summer garden. I remember gathering multiple egg cartons and fresh soil as the children and I planted our little vegetable seeds. Using craft sticks, we carefully labeled each plant. After a few weeks, we would transfer these seeds to my box garden. Every day I watered those seeds as they sat on my window sill. As the tiny, green, slivers of stems began to push through the soil, my excitement grew.
There they were. I had planted seeds and was watching in amazement as they grew. Carefully transporting those fragile plants into my box gardens, I was aware of their need for support and protection. As I would daily tend to my garden beds, I became aware of the needs of each plant. I knew what plants I needed to help “climb” a trellis. I “caged” my tomato plants to give them more support. Marigolds were planted next to my tomato plants to keep the insect pests away. I watched as the weeks went by, and the garden busted with vegetation.
As I sat in prayer one afternoon next to my garden, the Lord began to speak to my heart.
What are you planting spiritually? So many need my seeds of faith. Will you help plant seeds in the hearts of others?
He was showing me how important it is to plant seeds of faith into the hearts of others. The fruits of these seeds were lives deeply rooted in the faith. A life full of the knowledge of the Lord, of His infinite mercy, and His unconditional love for us.
During my time here on earth, I will receive opportunities to plant seeds in the lives of others. By my conversations and interactions, I will be able to spiritually cultivate the soil for planting seeds, plant seeds, water the seeds that have been planted by others, and see the production of the beautiful fruit of the seeds planted by others.
Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”2 Corinthians 9:6
How do I sow bountifully for the Kingdom?
Sowing seeds is a decision to serve the Lord with your life. It’s a choice to want to be part of creating a world of goodness. In a practical sense, it’s the little text messages when you are thinking of someone. It’s the seeds of love when you start someone’s day with a quick hug or a smile across the way. It’s asking someone how they are doing and giving all your attention to their response. It’s a scripture verse for a weary soul.
It can also be tending to these growing plants that need your support and protection. It’s inviting friends to bible study. It’s leading discussions about the Lord and His role in your life. It’s taking food to family who is struggling or unburdening a new mom with your assistance. It’s generously tipping your server who needs a little break.
We need to ask ourselves…what fruits are produced by the life that we are living now? Are we generous with our time and our talents in serving the Lord?
If not, what is holding us back from giving generously?
Can we look back on our life now and see the fruits of some of these seeds? Or do we have more work to do? What changes can we make in our life now to continue to spread the message of faith to all whom we encounter?
The need for evangelization is stronger than ever. We do not have to do great things to be able to share Christ with others. It is our daily fiat to live a life serving others that will truly bring Christ to others.
When we leave this world, will we have left our mark? Will we have an abundant garden in heaven that our love has cultivated?
And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”1 Corinthians 13:13