Uplifting zucchini

Yesterday morning a neighbour brought me a freshly picked zucchini, the first one we’ve had this season. That act of kindness got me thinking about the power of this oft-maligned vegetable. First, if ever there was a prolific garden vegetable, it’s got to be zucchini. Even one or two plants can become nearly overwhelming, so much so that I stopped growing them a few years back. Boasting their beautiful yellow blossoms, they seem to pop out of the green growth, ten at a time.

Then, they are not quite as insignificant as they may seem. In researching a bit, I found this definition: ‘[zucchini] a type of botanical berry called a "pepo", being the swollen ovary of the zucchini flower.’ Who would have thought about the internal origin of these bland veggies?

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Sometimes, though, zucchinis are not valued highly enough for the nutrition and the taste they bring to everyday eating. They form part of a delicious casserole and there’s not a lot of things tastier than a zucchini dessert loaf on a winter’s day.

But lest you think I’ve lost my focus as to the purpose of my articles, what I really thought about when Sue handed me that gourd was how it compares with the power of encouraging words. Often without even realizing it, simple words of reassurance can brighten a day, lift a heavy load or season a time of pain with love-inspired hope.

In writing the epistles to early Christians, the apostle Paul often spoke of the need for and the power of encouragement. While we may never have been imprisoned for our faith, who hasn’t faced situations that have weighed us down with discouragement. Even more, who knows what someone else is facing.

“Anxious hearts are very heavy, but a word of encouragement does wonders!” (Proverbs 12:25) The Living Bible)

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