My husband and I became urban gardeners for the first time last summer. Our best crop was one we had very little to do with. The previous owners of our plot in the community garden had planted a strawberry patch. Even as we labored to till the hard ground and plant rows of seeds, we were greeted by ripe, luscious strawberries. This welcome spring crop went a long way to encourage us in our horticultural venture.
To me, those unearned strawberries illustrated, in a sense, the love of God. His love is showering on us at all times, regardless of our deservedness. Divine Love is a constant source of comfort and healing, available to everyone, everywhere.
The Bible tells us that we reap what we sow. n1 And yet the Scriptures also point to God's unconditional love. In his Sermon on the Mount, Christ Jesus said: ''Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?'' n2
n1 See Galatians 6:7,8.
n2 Matthew 6:26.
The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, expresses a similar sentiment. In Science and Health with Key to the Scripturesm she writes, referring to God: ''Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals. It is the open fount which cries, 'Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.' '' n3
n3 Science and Health, p. 13.
This message of God's constant love, regardless of our worthiness, is not a license for laziness, mediocrity, or wrongdoing. Rather, it lifts us to greater usefulness by offering comfort when we may feel we least deserve it. It's the nature of divine Love to ceaselessly love us - though sin always punishes itself , because it is opposed to the divine law of harmony.
One of the central themes of Christianity is the love of God made manifest to humanity through the life of Christ Jesus. As John tells us: ''In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us.'' n4