Spiritual Gardening

Public disclaimer: the following thoughts were composed after a short period in a large city of which I’ve only seen and experienced a small part of thus far and therefore are prone to be narrow minded and assumptive. These thoughts and views are very likely to evolve over the course of the next year, but for now, this is my understanding of the community around me. Enjoy!

I’ve been in Auckland, New Zealand for two weeks, and this is what I’ve learned. I’m living in a city where it takes an hour to travel 30 kilometers, a city that goes to bed at 8 pm on weeknights, a city where stormy days are seen as an opportunity for wind surfing, a city where equal opportunity is more of a reality than any place I’ve ever seen, a city where strife is next to nonexistent, a patient city, and a city that runs on island time. Sounds like heaven, doesn’t it? Utopian? Or at least a profitable Disney movie? But in this city where people hardly want for anything tangible, where being overwhelmed is a rare occurrence, where life is slow enough to have time to think, where productivity doesn’t equal someone’s value, where quality of life is all around good, I’ve found the soul to be broken.
From a sociological or humanitarian standpoint, this makes no sense to me. I don’t get it. If everyone has what he or she needs and is not overworked, everyone should be happy and joyful. It’s only when I put down my college-earned spectacles of political and logical analysis and pick up my Bible that it starts to make sense. Comfort is not enough. Comfortable living is not enough. The people of New Zealand can tell you that. They can tell you how the government perpetuates comfortable and reasonable life for all and how they’re still concerned with whether or not their youth will choose to make it to adulthood and if their adults will choose to continue living this, simply put, perfect life around them.
This, dear reader, brings us to my mission of the past two weeks: to sit and listen. To converse with and form relationships with the people in the community around me, to hear their stories, and to soak in their concerns. I learned from Jesus that this type of ministry happens wherever you are, and I learned from the South that everybody needs to eat, which has made the table and the coffee table an easy place to meet even the busiest of souls and start conversations. To the physical eye, it looks like I’ve simply been eating a lot of delicious foods at various tables with rotating strangers, and I suppose in a lot of ways that that’s exactly what I’ve been up to. Perhaps more than that, though, it would be apt to say I’ve been gardening. I’ve been and will continue to do my best to plant seeds of friendship and faith because, in my experience, if you expect anything to grow, you best be planting some seeds and praying for some blossoms.

Eliza Edge
Resident in Mission for World Methodist Evangelism


  1. Hey Eliza,
    I hope that you are doing well. I enjoyed reading your comparison of New Zealand and the South. I pray that the seeds that Christ plants in you to spread to his people in New Zealand grow abundantly. I will continue to pray for you and your mission through Christ.
    Annie Kate Leinius


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