As Good As Dead

“What is that shiny round green thing lying on the ground?”  I asked myself as I was puttering around on the deck a few days ago.   “Surely it can’t be a tomato!” 

I had left my tomato vines for dead weeks and weeks ago.  I had cared for them as long as I could — watering them, gently tying them to the stakes, and picking those demonic-looking squishy green horned worms off them with my plastic hair color gloves clinging to my sweaty fingers.  Finally, when the weatherman said that we were having record heat and drought, I inspected them one last time.  The leaves were withered and the blooms were all dried up.  I gave up. 

I abandoned my anticipation of fried green tomatoes and our favorite “green dip.”  My hopes were left behind as I concentrated on other tasks.   My intention was to go out to my little corner patch, yank up the non-productive vines and leave them by the side of the road with all the other yard debris.  However, as time went by (and the Arkansas heat was unrelenting),  the only attention they received was an occasional guilty glance.

The days became a bit cooler, the yard was mowed one last time, and finally we had a little rain.  The yard was the last thing on my mind, as I had many “inside” tasks to complete.   Then, just three days ago (this is October, for goodness’ sake), there they were!  In my slippers I hurried down the steps and over to the forgotten plants to investigate.  The vines were on the ground, having been neglected for so long.  They had grown beyond the last tie on the stakes and had become top-heavy with the clusters of fruit/vegetable (?) that they were now bearing.

Astonished, I said aloud for any “hidden by the fence” neighbor to hear, “I don’t believe it!  I don’t freakin’ believe it!”  As I lifted up the now-green, productive vines, I witnessed tomatoes of every size — four or five large enough to harvest and fry, medium, small and pearl-size, just appearing from the now-yellow blooms.  Untended, unweeded, unwatered by human hands, left for dead during the sweltering one hundred degree temps, the tomato resurrection was almost miraculous to me, standing there in amazement.

Forgetting about everything else, I scurried into the house to retrieve what I had left of the old t-shirt strips I used to tie the vines to their stakes.   As I was carefully securing the vines, I was still shaking my head in wonder.  How could this be?  The blooms had dried, the worms had taken their toll, and I had abandoned the plants as hopeless.

“Nothing is impossible with God, ” I was reminded.  Obviously.

After securing the plants and calling my mother to share the good news and the wonder of it all, I selected four of them to pluck later for frying.  I wanted to leave them on the vine so that I could later show my husband the incredible sight.  He was properly amazed as well.

Indeed we did have fried green tomatoes that night, and we were grateful.  We are now looking forward to the green dip.  We had given up hope, but we learned that sometimes God intervenes.  I smiled as I remembered how the writer of Hebrews described Abraham as being “as good as dead.” 

I can understand why Abraham’s wife Sarah had laughed out loud at the notion that they, in their advanced senior citizen status, would have a child.  She denied it later, but God had heard it, and he was not amused.  He reprimanded her with this now-famous question:  “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”

Apparently not!  Thanks for the reminder.


About Jan Hamlett

Exploring faith outside the safety of Sunday
This entry was posted in Surprises, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to As Good As Dead

  1. Yes, thanks indeed for this reminder!

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