Chapel Dean Luke Powery draws a lesson from a master gardener—God—in his latest Chronicle column: "You are made of matter—the dust of the earth—and for that reason alone your life matters."
The essay examines a biblical parable about a fig tree that hasn't produced fruit and a gardener who refuses to cut it down but instead wants to let it live one more year.
"Like the gardener in the parable, God is patient and merciful with everything he cultivates," Dean Powery says. "Even now, I can hear God speaking as a Great Gardener to us: 'Give it one more year. I’m not giving up on you. Let’s try one more phone call. Let’s try one more intervention. Let’s try one more therapy session. Let’s try one more gym workout. Let’s try one more surgery. Let’s try one more attempt at reconciliation and healing. Let’s try one more attempt at peace talks. You matter.'”
"Don’t give up even if you are on a fruitless streak and others want to cut you down," he says. "Listen for a whisper of hope: One more year!"