Planting Tomatoes

1024 683 Wayne

I’m no gardener.

If you want proof, ask my wife. She’ll be more than happy to reiterate that fact.

But I may not be as bad at it as I thought.

I recently got to sit in on an informal forum about black fatherhood. My barber, who I consider a big brother and mentor, hosted it at his shop, which I felt set the tone for open and honest dialogue.

The convo was amazing.

Despite being the youngest (and the only millennial) in the room, I didn’t feel like my voice was irrelevant. I was surrounded by a treasure trove of older, seasoned black men who were refreshingly transparent about the challenges and rewards of being a black father in our society.

I followed suit and opened up about my fear that I wasn’t doing enough to foster my two daughters’ relationship with God. “We don’t do enough family devotionals, we don’t pray together as often as we should, they don’t know enough about biblical history, there are so many arguments against God that can be seen with one swipe”…my list goes on and on.

A retired colonel looked me dead in the eye and said, “Young man, if you plant tomatoes, you expect tomatoes to grow, correct?”

“Yes sir.”

“Well then, if you’ve planted seeds of faith in your daughters, then expect what you planted.”


I hope he reads this post, because that simplistic yet profound wisdom nugget has stuck with me ever since.

The truth is, even if I did a devotional with them everyday, prayed with them every hour, did an apologetics course with them every week, and had them listen to an audio bible every night while they slept…my efforts would be meaningless without God’s intervention. As with any seed that is planted, there is a growth process that goes on without the gardener’s hands being involved. And that process ultimately brings about a crop despite how good (or bad) the gardener’s skill level is.

And if there is one type of seed that is strong enough to grow on it’s own, it’s the seed of God’s kingdom.

So, I’ll continue to plant kingdom seeds in my daughters with these inept hands of mine, and leave the results to God.

Looking forward to seeing the tomatoes.



Wayne is a husband, father, avid reader and writer, and youth minister who happens to believe that Jesus is central to every aspect of life…the individual, family, society, government, philosophy, the arts…and everything in between. He’s committed to challenging preconceived notions about what it means to follow Jesus, and seeks to engage the culture instead of running from it.

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