It’s finals this week, and it has been a very very hard finals for me. The papers and exams aren’t really more difficult, I’m just lacking the motivation and energy to get through them well. Everything in me just wants to rest. To have some fun. To step away from the laptop screen and spend time with my husband, neighbors, friends, and church community. There is something so twisted about the imbalance and stress of finals as part of preparation for ministry. I get the need to spend time studying to learn, and I embrace it. Finals just seems like a time to pursue all that is wrong with the world. Competing with others in performance. Being successful and smart by the standards of the world. Severing ties with family, friends, and community for an individualistic goal. That may be an overstatement, but every finals week those thoughts gnaw on me.
But today I came home from a long hard exam. And there was one red tomato. I don’t know when it turned red. It wasn’t there a few days ago. But there it was. The first little red tomato.
The neighbors in my building got together and we planted tomatoes, herbs, and other good things a few weeks ago. And today our first tomato was red.
Water, sun, some dirt, and the plan of a tiny seed… a few weeks later there is a tomato.
There is rebirth. There is new life. There is the awe and wonder and miraculous.
There is a tomato. There is hope.