Friday, June 01, 2007

Support and Family

Support and Family, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
This year, I knew I would be staying in Morgantown for the summer working on getting our café ready for the fall, and developing our leaders in the community of h2o. As a result, I decided to try my hand at planting a garden.

Among the different seeds I planted were corn, beans, and squash. Among, American Indian people (at least from my own Shawnee culture but I've heard the practice is widespread), these three crops are planted together. Typically, when non-indian people think of "Indian food", they think of corn, beans, and squash.

According to tradition, there's a reason these are planted together. They are called the "three sisters" and they help each other grow. You see, the corn takes nitrogen from the soil as it grows. Beans provide nitrogen for the soil, and so they add to the nutrient base of the corn. The squash has broad leaves that spread over the ground and eliminate competition from other weeds that would try to hurt the other two sisters.

There's a lot we can learn from these three sisters. As my family has been walking through my mom's illness together, we have often relied on one another's gifts and strengths to support each other and support Mom. Yesterday, we took her off the ventilator, and it was a really scary and traumatic experience for all of us. The nurse explained to us that she may go on to be with Jesus in a matter of seconds or days.

We stayed there with her and told her how much we loved her, and that whatever she wanted to do would be fine with us. If she wanted to go be with Jesus, we were all ok with it, but we would miss her. We wept and prayed with her, and she is currently in a different room in the hospital--after nearly three weeks she is out of ICU.

Now she can have multiple visitors, and people can stay longer hours with her. We are so thankful for the grace God has given us in allowing my mom to stay with us and share time with us.

In the middle of it all, I am personally very thankful for the love and support we as a family have shown each other through it all. We have prayed, wept, and loved each other strongly through the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ who indwells each one of us. We have walked through many difficult decisions together, and in the middle of it all we know that it is God who sustains and supports us and causes our growth, but it sure is beautiful to be reminded that He has given us each other to contribute in unique ways as we grow and to support one another, just like the Three Sisters.

1 comment:

darkwing said...

My garden is lacking the squash sister, I'm the only one in my household who likes it. Plus I've planted in the very whiteman segregated way. Each crop is on it's own for survival and I doubt that any nitrogen is going to mingle over 10 feet from the beans to the corn. I bet you put a fish down in the hole before you planted the seeds too. Without your people, my people wouldn't have made it to the first Thanksgiving.