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You’re Welcome

Winston-Salem friends, you’re welcome. We saved spring.

I got a distress call from Kim because there was a freeze warning last Thursday and the strawberries at the Crossnore Children’s Home were under threat of being lost.

So me and Barry and four high school guys and my son and three Winston-Salem Fellows worked through the blustery afternoon to get tarps down on as many of the 20,000 plants as we could. It was not easy. And when Barry said that the last few tarps had been ruined so we weren’t going to be able to use them, I was like, “Oh man,” but inside I was saying “YES!”

Picking strawberries at Crossnore Children’s Home is one of my favorite springtime activities. One goes in the bucket. Another goes in my mouth. You got to keep your energy up when you are picking strawberries.

It would be a huge bummer if we didn’t have strawberries to pick because a freeze came through the first week in April.

Let’s pray the tarps work. It makes me appreciate all the strawberries that I’ve eaten over the years and the workers that have gone before me putting tarps on the plants when the freezes come. I’ll never complain about high prices ever again.

It also makes me think about how vulnerable strawberries are. They have no control over the weather. They have little control over anything really – where they are planted, how much sun and water they’ll get, whether the bees or wind will pollinate them or not, and the weeds that can choke them out.

It reminds me of that parable Jesus shared one day about the four soils. It’s the same seed that gets sown – the growth all depends on outside circumstances.

It’s a good thing we’ve got a Good Farmer who is committed to tending his crops (see Luke 13:6-8). There’s another parable there – a more obscure one. It doesn’t even get its own heading. But I love this one because there is the owner of the farm complaining about this plant’s lack of fruit, but here is the gardener sticking up for the plant and giving it another chance.

That’s Jesus. He is the giver of second chances, and thirds and fourths and forty-fourths. I am grateful for the good soil he has planted me in. I am grateful for the sun of his daily mercies and grace. I am grateful for the water of his word. I am grateful for his weeding. I am very grateful for his covering when the freeze comes late in the spring.

Ned Erickson

Ned is the Founder and Executive Director of the Winston-Salem Fellows, a non-profit dedicated to equipping people to live seamless lives as they grow into the men and women they were created to be. He is the author of four books, including the critically acclaimed novel Clay. He, his wife, two children, dogs, rabbit, guinea pig, turtle, and chickens live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

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