In the Garden

Gardening, I think it is in my genetics.  My grandmother had a big garden, canned a lot of produce from it, and then shared the bounty with others.  I can remember seeing my grandmother behind the rototiller working the ground, she would put me to work pulling weeds, picking beans, digging potatoes or other jobs in the garden.  I always enjoyed when she would hand me a piece of okra, or a fresh tomato and we would bite into it right there in the garden.

My mom and dad always had a big garden too and we were tasked with helping from planting to harvesting and preparing the vegetables we had grown.  Since leaving home I have had many gardens.  I love the smell of the dirt, getting my hands dirty, planting, caring for, harvesting, and canning or preparing the vegetables I have grown.  There is something amazing and beautiful about breaking open the ground, placing seeds or seedlings, nurturing them, seeing something grow, and reaping the harvest.

I have often related my faith to the garden.

God created the Garden of Eden for Adam and Eve, that is where it all began.  Jesus prayed to our Father in the Garden of Gethsemane before He was arrested.  Jesus was buried in a tomb in a garden after He was crucified.  Mary Magdalene found Jesus in the garden after the Resurrection.

My mom would sing “In the Garden” as she worked around the house or the garden.  It’s a beautiful hymn.  The refrain, “And He walks with me, And He talks with me, And He tells me I am His own.  And the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.” speaks to me, to the uniqueness of each of our relationships with God.  The first verse,” I come to the garden alone”, speaks to the one-on-one relationship with God, my relationship with God.

My garden is where I am alone with Him and His creation.  I feel comforted and at peace there.  I am responsible for that relationship.  Like my garden if I don’t nurture, feed, water, and weed it, the harvest will be small, not exist, or die.  But if I care for my relationship with God, my faith; nurture it, then it will grow, and the harvest will be abundant.  It can be hard work, but the sweet taste of His love is like no other.

As Christians we talk about “planting seeds” of faith.  I must care for and nurture my relationship with God before I can plant seeds of faith with any hope of them growing.  As we nurture our garden, our faith, let it be an example of how we should nurture one another.  In our garden of faith may we be still and know Him.  Mary Magdalene found Jesus in the garden.

May we each find our comfort, peace, and His love there in our garden of faith.