Raising a Harvest of Righteousness
by Thomas Davis
What can bring together a group of Muslims, Christians, and Jews who desire to find reconciliation and to serve those in need? Gardening, that’s what!
Recently, “Multi-Faith Friends for the Common Good,” a group facilitated by Peace Catalyst in Raleigh, North Carolina, came together at a local farm managed by Goodwill Industries to harvest produce for donation to the North Carolina Food Bank, which distributes food aid to the needy. And what were the results? About sixty pounds of blueberries, seventy or more pounds of tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, and eggplants that will go to nourish neighbors in the Triangle area who would likely not have access to such high-quality produce.
But even more importantly, a small group from different faith backgrounds worked shoulder-to-shoulder to serve others, and in that process they grew to love and respect one another and to build a foundation for reconciled relationship. Of course, the “Friends” group has a dream, namely to one day have their own community garden that they “start from scratch” and develop as a place of service to the community and reconciliation for all their neighbors. And like a fruitful garden, they hope to see reconciliation and peace take root, grow, and bear fruit in their community. With the help of the Spirit of God, a “harvest of righteousness” is being “…sown in peace by those who make peace” (James 3:18).