By Athan Lindsay, Former Come to the Table Faith Community Outreach Coordinator For a lot of us, spring is synonymous with a time of renewal and transformation. The way that Nature revives itself after a particularly long winter is one of the most ageless wonders of our world. Spring is that time of year where all creatures receive their innate signal that it is time to return back to life. Whether you subscribe to a belief in God or not, all of our souls are apt to be revived by the return of Spring. It is the time of year where I can find unity and agreement among my non-Christian friends about the faithfulness of the Master Gardener. I believe in God as a Master Gardener. Springtime reminds me that the Master Gardener still cares and provides for all living creatures by tending to this in which garden we live. The Master Gardener sends spring to us as an invitation to participate in our own life cycle. There is no experience that convinces me more that there is something greater than myself than in transforming a little plot of dirt into a garden. It is amazing to watch how seeds we covered over with dirt sprouts up into some unrecognizable green growth before transforming into a lush garden of edible vegetables. How it develops over time always amazes me. Yes, we can cite botany and reference the photosynthesis process to explain my amazement. But that cannot do justice to the acts of giving and stewardship that come over you when you accept the Master Gardener’s invitation to join in the process. Amazing how a bumper crop of spring lettuce, peppers, and eggplant can turn you into a giver, with a desire to do it again with even better results. In case we doubt any of this as a miraculous event, imagine what our world would be like without the gift of spring. If there were no invitation from the Master Gardener to participate in the gift of springtime, we would be lifeless! Let us not limit ourselves in thinking that an acceptance of the Master’s invitation is to start a garden as the only way to experience the miracles of spring’s renewal. I think spring represents an opportunity for each of us to experience a communion with our Creator and our community. This rebirth is a way to propel us through whatever circumstances that challenge us.
In the midst of the national scramble to determine how we all access healthcare under the Affordable Care Act, it’s crucial that we consider the specific impacts on populations that are often thought of last: farmers, farmworkers, and rural folks in general
As people of faith who care about our hungry neighbors, we have much to be concerned about. The proposed farm bill is slated to eliminate nearly $21 billion in SNAP benefits over the next decade, eliminating access to these benefits for almost 2 million Americans. Take action by Monday.