Working at home is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, as I’ve mentioned before, there is the reality of having no living people sharing my workplace during work hours. There’s the added problem of having all the unfinished house and yard jobs before my eyes every day. In order to accomplish my work, I have to create and keep a schedule for myself, and even though the weeds are growing and a gopher has just dug new mounds in the lawn, I can’t drop everything and fix the problems when I see them.
As much as I hate weeding, though, I always feel good once I’ve set aside the time and actually go sit in the dirt with my spade. I can actually see what I’ve accomplished, and there’s something about being in the sunshine…
Richard has observed that today’s North American culture is increasingly virtual. Houses are becoming bigger and bigger (the better to accommodate families’ electronic toys), and yards are correspondingly smaller and smaller.
As people’s lives become increasingly immersed in online relationships and electronic experiences, fewer people know what it’s like to mow lawns, plant flowers, or weed gardens. With the loss of working with earth and growing things come the corresponding losses of smelling the geraniums and citrus blossoms, picking ripe peaches, hearing the mockingbirds, watching the blackbirds feed their young, and identifying the buzzy call of the hummingbird before one sees it light on the red sage blossoms.
The losses are profound. Paul said, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). The conclusion of Richard’s observation is that fewer and fewer people are experiencing the revelation of the Creator in the work of maintaining a yard.
As I look at our rose bushes with their first buds of spring and think that soon I’ll actually have to fertilize them and manage the mildew, I know clearly that this drudgery is actually a blessing. God has given us a yard, I thank Him that I have a place to participate in taking care of creation.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world” (Psalm 19:1-4). —Colleen Tinker, editor
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