Papaw’s Lesson From The Watermelon

“You shall teach them diligently to your children,

and shall talk of them when you sit in your house,

and when you walk by the way,

and when you lie down, and when you rise.”

Deuteronomy 6:7 

           Photo By:       Mathew Steinhoff

Photo By:
Mathew Steinhoff

I was sitting on the porch swing with a close friend discussing special moments in our lives. Her Papaw grew watermelons and like many garden plants, a melon is the result of a very large and yellow bell-shaped flower. It blooms, wilts and falls off the vine. In a short time you notice a marble size ball on the end of that same stem. Don’t get excited, there is a good chance that marble may fall off as well; the survival rate is 50/50.  Once this future delicacy grows to the size of a golf ball you can begin to see how well your crop is going to produce.

When my friend was six her Papaw took her into the watermelon patch and let her pick out her own melon. She picked one that was about seven inches long. As the two knelt next to it, Papaw picked up the tiny melon and gently placed it in her hands. She leaned back on her knees and held it in her lap while he took out his pocket knife and lightly carved her name on the side of the melon.

Why is my name so small?” she asked. The name was barely visible.

“Because you are so small,” he answered. “When this melon grows up, so will you.” He smiled at her and continued, “In order for this melon to be the best melon ever, you have to nurture it. That means when you come to visit you have to pull any weeds that are nearby, so they don’t sap the nutrients and moisture the melon needs. You will also need to take this rag and wipe off any dirt and keep it clean and shiny. That will make it the bestest and sweetest melon you ever had. The greatest part is that it’s all because of the way you raised it.”

She smiled and went on just being a little girl. Every week she went with Papaw to cultivate her melon and watched it leisurely grow to maturity. As they drove the old tractor to the field and walked into the patch, there was one thing she looked forward to. You see, as the melon grew her name grew with it. Her enthusiasm grew and she could not wait to see how much her name increased in size with each visit.

 I had to try this myself. I was so excited and impatient I didn't let the watermelon fully mature.    :-(

I had to try this myself. I was so excited and impatient I didn’t let the watermelon fully mature. :-(When the time came to harvest the melon, the name was so big she could see it from several yards away. She was proud of her name standing out among all the other melons. From one end of the dark green melon to the other, her name was engraved in big bold cream-colored letters. She helped Papaw carry it and as she climbed up on seat he placed the melon on her lap. She smiled all the way to the house. The rest of the family was waiting at the picnic table in the back yard ready to chow down on sweet melon. Everyone was patting her on the back and rubbing her head saying, “Way to go!”  My friend was privileged to make the first cut and pick out the first piece, a memory she has never forgotten.

 “Train up a child in the way he should go;

even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Proverbs 22:6

When our children are born and we scribe their name on a birth certificate the cultivation and nurturing begin. It is our duty to keep the bad weeds away so that they receive the nutrients we provide and keep those things away that sap strength and sweetness from them. The almost invisible names we engrave on their heart, when they are but marble size, stand out among others in the world and speak not only their name, but ours. Our children impart integrity, truth, honesty, sincerity, value and even God’s love to places where these virtues may not be present. When presented to the world they become an illuminating path to God’s love; an everlasting memory carried for eternity.

Someday, our family of believers will welcome us to the big table in the back yard of heaven, slapping you on the back and saying, “Way to go!”

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35 thoughts on “Papaw’s Lesson From The Watermelon

  1. I Loved it Andy the symbolism was wonderful and very True , we are as Paul said to aim to be perfected in Love in Christ Jesus. He died on the cross for us and the nails that pierced is hands engraved our name on His heart.

    As Christ’s Body we are in His garden helping each other to mature, we are His hands, arms, feet and voice to reach out to each other in Love and to a hurting world as The Holy Spirit empowers us. Our name gets bigger as His does in our heart.

    Thank you Andy, you are indeed a man of noble qualities and Wow your name is so big!

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne

    • Thank you Anne and Ron for such a nice comment! It is nice to have Christian friends on the other side of the world! Looking forward to sharing The Lord with you! God Bless
      Andy

  2. Nice reading about you

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Be in touch. Browse through the category sections, I feel you may find something of your interest.

    • Thank You for your kind comment. I have visited your site and I must say that you have quite a talent with the camera. I love the photos, especially of the flowers as I am a flower nut! I also like that you use quotes under them from some philosophers like Kant who I studied in college many moons ago. You, along with the children are in my prayers with this cancer. I pray that you and the children will bless each other in this battle. Please remember, our God is mighty and he is the ultimate healer. God Bless!

  3. This is awesome. Praying that God would help me leave a strong spiritual legacy to my children. Parenting isn’t easy, but we do it only in the grace and power of God.

    • Thank you so much for your comment. In our younger years we do not realize, or in some cases care, about the past as we live the future. As we become the elders we realize the importance of not only our heritage but also what we leave for our descendants. I would like to refer you to my friend’s blog called “Oh the Things We Shall See.” Here’s the link. http://ohthethingsweshallsee.com/2013/10/28/life-is-a-highway-or-a-country-road/
      What she does with her children is really special. It is leaving a legacy that will be handed down for generations. I am going to ask her if this was handed down to her. If you would like to write an article about your ways of leaving a legacy, please do so and I will re- post it on my Christian Grandfather. Thank you again for such a beautiful comment.
      Andy

  4. Beautiful words and pictures! i love this. Thanks for following my blog and sharing such wisdom. God bless you!

  5. Wonderful post! Reminds me of times with my Grandmother. Her “words of wisdom” still hang out in my head, or possibly that’s in my heart, but this is a lovely post! 😀

    • Thank you so much! I am considering making this site for both grandmothers and grandfathers. There are a lot of folks that do not know their grandfather but, like you, remember so much about their grandmother. I love to hear more about how your grandmother affected your life in a positive way. If you would like to write about her I would love to put it on this site for others to enjoy. Thanks again for your comment, it means a lot. Andy

    • Thank you for commenting and following my blog as well. God is so good to us all and love reading about Him from others. God bless you and your family! Andy

    • Hi Denise! Thank you for your comment! I appreciate you visiting my site and thankful it was an inspiration to you! Have a great rest of the weekend! God Bless! Andy

      • aww, well you know what? it may not be good for consumption but it served ( and does) its purpose of nourishing not the physical being but our souls. Your readers definitely partake of the watermelon and I, for one was refreshed and filled. So yeah, while patience is a virtue…excitement pays off too.:)

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