Here Come the Pumpkins
by REV. HELEN H. COLLINS
North Kent Presbyterian Church
If you have driven or walked on Kuttshill past North Kent Presbyterian Church in the last few months, you have probably noticed that we turned some of the land around our church into quite a pumpkin patch. Odd thing for a church to do, I suppose, but we had very good reasons. There’s also a big pumpkin sign that says, “Come Grow with Us.” The pumpkin drawing is courtesy of one of our church preschool kids. So, we’re growing pumpkins as a fundraiser, and we hope we’re attracting some attention so that people will know we’re here and that anyone and everyone is welcome to join us.
But here’s the thing about pumpkins: Better than any of the other fruits and vegetables God gave us, the pumpkin reveals some wonderful truths about our relationship with God. The best and most common use for pumpkins is for making Jack o’lanterns. (They make great pie too, but that’s another story.) You start by cleaning off the pumpkin, getting rid of any of the garden dirt. Then you cut a hole in the top of the pumpkin and clean out the inside. It can be a messy thing to reach in there and pull out all the yucky, slimy stuff and the seeds, but you have to do it so that you can carve a face.
When I did that as a child, I always wanted to give my pumpkin a smile to start with, then a nose which usually ended up looking like a triangle, and finally some eyes. We would put our pumpkins in the living room window so they faced the street, and mom would let us put a candle inside so that people could really see the face lit up as they went by.
Several years ago a piece ran around the e-mail circuit with the story of the pumpkin and how it demonstrates what God does with us when we give our lives to Him. First, Jesus picks us up and cleanses our life from sin. He removes all the yucky thoughts and the seeds of doubt, hate and selfishness that we have inside. Then he puts a smile on our face and puts his light inside to shine for all the world to see.
It has been an unusually hot, dry summer. At first we thought our pumpkins might not survive. We watered and watered. Eventually God sent the rain, and several faithful members and our Boy Scouts have been out in the garden, getting rid of weeds and watering the plants when necessary. Life can be like that sometimes. Bad stuff happens sometimes, and there are days when we’re not sure we’ll survive, but God is always there to meet our need, and often uses faithful friends to help us through the times of trouble and drought. (Why is drought spelled o-u-g-h-t when doubt is spelled o-u-b-t?)
Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I saw a first blossom; now there are flowers all over those plants. I’m anxious to see pumpkins set on. The idea may have started as a fund and awareness raiser, but God got a hold of the project and ultimately it’s come to be about God blessing us and using us to bless others. Without a doubt, God will joyfully do the same for you.