I had written my first book on theology several years before entering into Seminary. The book is titled Sermon From The Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden. It discusses how gardening, particularly natural or organic gardening could provide unique insights towards cultivating something deeper—the human soul.
Having limited funds, I first started promoting the book locally. After that, I decided that hiring a publicist was the best next move to give the book broader exposure.
Then one day my publicist gave me an unexpected phone call.
One of her other book clients could not make it to two television interviews in Oregon (I live in the St. Louis area). These interviews were on important ABC and CBS affiliates in Portland and Eugene. My publicist had committed to these interviews and she now had to send someone “interesting” out there as a replacement—that very next Monday!
She asked me if I could bail her out (while being given a real opportunity to hawk my book to a wider audience). This meant making quick plane reservations and bringing my psyche to an appropriate and calm state.
Just minutes after telling her “yes,” she called me again.
She said that the TV producer for the first interview wanted me to offer his audience a visual demonstration of the ideas in my book. Since the topic of my book was spiritual transformation, which takes place in the invisible realm of the spirit, I was indeed thrown a wicked curve ball.
I first told my publicist that a visual demonstration was impossible. It seemed to me that I would have to truck in an entire garden to have the proper visual aids necessary for my discussion. Oh, and I would be given just three minutes in front of the TV camera in which to share “profound” knowledge.
Then I realized that I could demonstrate the essential nugget of my book with a bag of topsoil, a flowerpot and a rooted tomato plant. I would simply fill the pot with soil, plant the tomato plant in front of the audience, and point out how the soil, and the plant—with its roots, stem, leaves, flowers and fruit could symbolically represent and mirror the stages of human spiritual growth. The fertile and composted soil (the words “humus” and “human” have the same origins) represent the principles of life that we adopt and which our life takes root, grows, spreads, flowers and produces the final fruit of our efforts. This psycho-spiritual fruit is dependent upon the quality and health of the soil it springs forth from—just as the quality of our life springs from the principles that guide us.
After my interview, the TV producer told me it was a potent presentation. I still have the presentation on videotape and will someday make it available on my website. Meanwhile, the book is enjoying a resurgence of interest and it will soon be in stock again, directly from Amazon,com
If you want to learn more about Sermon From The Compost Pile please check out http://www.innergardening.net