“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but thy shared everything they had.” Acts 4: 32.
Anyone who steps foot in Providence will quickly meet Jim and Nancy Walker, two very loving and friendly members of the Providence family. Jim and Nancy moved to Louisa County from Richmond in 1974. They raised their daughter Amy and son Patrick on their farmstead on Paynes Mill Road.
The entire community looks forward to summer … and the bounties of Jim’s amazing garden. Jim’s rows of thornless blackberries are the subject of many a cold winter’s daydream … memories of walking among the rows in the early morning, cool dew soaking the hem of our blue jeans … or the feeling of the hot evening sun beating on our back as we reach deep beneath the shade of the vines to snag the perfect plump berry. Jim and Nancy invite their friends and neighbors to “c’mon over and pick a few.” We leave with bowls bursting with ripe fruit, a few ears of corn and squash thrown in for good measure. We will make jam and pies and freeze the rest. Nancy will pull out a blackberry cobbler or even barbeque sauce in the fall.
None of this just happens. The Walkers’ gardens require a great deal of time and energy to produce a harvest, but they just give it away. Jim and Nancy take joy in sharing. They plant abundantly and share all they have. They freeze what’s left and share that too.
What would Jesus do? He’d invite us into the garden to work beside him. He’d invite in those who never even lifted a finger, those who were complete strangers to him. Pull up a chair, let me get you a bowl of warm cobbler with ice cream on top. Generous, welcoming, joyful, not judging … and kind, arms open wide with a big grin on his face.
“Do you need any blackberries?” Sounds like someone we know!