But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15
The tomatoes in our garden are at every stage of life – some just blooming, others still green, most in various shades of orange and red. Even when they look ripe, only those that yield with a gentle touch are truly ready. You can pick some by force, but they are not as tasty. If a tomato doesn’t drop into your hand easily, try again another day – always with a tender tug and an open hand.
People in our world are at every stage of faith – some soaking in grace, others actively searching, and some living between unbelief and faith. When we bring the Gospel, we may feel resistance. If we keep pushing them, we may walk away discouraged. Instead take a lesson from the garden – keep trying. The day may come when a tender word and open hand are the instruments needed to pick another soul for salvation.
Prayer: Gracious Lord, help us to be faithful to your call to always be prepared to share the Good News which gives us our hope. Amen.
Deaconess Sonja Baumeister, Portland, OR