Monday, November 20, 2006

The Good News of the Shovel

Bulgarians have a saying, "The vineyard doesn't need a prayer but a shovel". It's a pretty atheistic prayer, reflecting the atheistic mindset of the majority of the Bulgarians. The thrust of it is that God doesn't exist, so you'd better not wait for him to come down and do your work for you. Christians know that the vineyard needs a shovel for the work to be done but it also takes a prayer for God to do his own part, like sending rain and keeping off hail, for example. Besides, digging can (and should) also be a spiritual, not only a physical exercise. Today I had an experience that proves this statement to be true.

Me, Vanya, my mother and my sister went to my father's grave again. I had to bring a shovel with me in order to clean the grave a little bit. On my return home I met a neighbor who saw my shovel and asked me whether I’d been to my orchard. I told her I’d been to my father’s grave. She said she was sorry to hear about my father's death and I told her it's easier to accept it when you know that death is not an end but a door to eternity. She said she didn't believe in that, so I was able to share with her about Jesus and the reality of heaven and hell. It was a short but very powerful conversation, me holding the shovel and returning from the graveyard and yet talking about hope and faith in God. It’s funny how God can use even such things as a shovel to give us opportunity to speak about Him. Isn't then shovel a spiritual weapon as well as a physical tool?!