To paraphrase the famous quote applied to the US Postal Service – neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night – nor even pesky mosquitoes – stays me from the swift completion of my appointed rounds.
Nah – I haven’t become a mail carrier or even a hard worker, but I do walk and carry things and deal with biting critters. I generally start in the front yard since our back door isn’t exactly functional yet. Front yard is a also a misnomer since it really isn’t a yard yet. Trees, mud and mulch might be a more apt description. Then on to the side yard -back yard – and a side woods garden. Sometimes the dogs join me. Sometimes, I walk alone. It really doesn’t matter – it is the land and gardens that call me, and I have to answer.
As a child, my Grandma Mac and parents walked me through my initial introductions to garden blessings. But it was my father-in-law that sank my toes and fingers into the dirt and hooked me for life. During the early years of our marriage, hubby and I lived on a piece of ground that his parents sold to us. We built a house out of old barns that we tore down. One barn from my hometown. One barn from the city where we were both born. We made a home and planted our first garden around a wishing well.
During the work week, hubby helped farm the land and milk the cows. I taught 6th grade in a small town about 30 miles away. Before grading papers or writing lesson plans, nights would find me feeding the cows and cleaning the milk house with Pop. I would sing. Pop would talk. We would walk.
He showed me how to walk the fields to check the crops. How to let the dirt sift through my fingers like flour. How to feel the land under my feet for moisture and critters. How to chew wheat kernels like gum. How to break open an ear of corn to check its growth without disturbing it too much. How to talk with God on a much deeper level.
As our culture stands in awesome wonder in the miraculous power of prayer, the over the top magnificence of Our Father Jehovah portrayed by the WORD or in the towering cathedrals built by man in His name, we often forget that EL started out as a gardener. He planted a garden. He walked in it. I like to think His angels walked in it as well. We know for sure that He walked in it with Adam and Eve. A garden home for His first creations – male and female caretakers- “When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the LORD God walking about in the garden.” Gen 3:8
Naturally, this is where I feel closest to Our Father. It is where I go when I am heartbroken. It is where I go when love is to big to hold inside. It is where I go at the start of my day, at the end of the day and often many times in between. It is my temporary heaven on earth and where I feel the strength of the Holy Spirit the most.
Tonight, as I did my final walk around. I picked up a lawn ornament that had fallen apart. Hubby helped me put it back together, and I hung it back up. The baby crepe myrtle had tiny pink flowers. The day lilies were shriveling up into a tinier version of its day self. The side garden changes that we made this morning need some more tinkering tomorrow – it it doesn’t rain and bring out those biting demons. Rounded the corner of the house to my tiny front bathrub garden. Yup – you read that right. When we tore the bathrub out of the master bath, we planted it. Plants have been doing well in and around it but over the past few days, my pepper plants started showing signs of unhappiness – and this is the point of tonight’s blessing.
I was worried about those tiny plants. Not greatly, but enough to check them off and on today. Wondering. Contemplating deep inside of me. Here’s the gift – God answered those worries before I requested. He knew because He was walking the gardens with me and He listened to my heart. Tomorrow I will go out and mess with the peppers from what He showed me tonight. You see, Our Father is like that. He is the ultimate gardener. He is the ultimate Father, and nothing keeps Him from the swift completion of His appointed rounds with His children. Not a bite out of an apple. Not the death of His only Son who also spoke of gardens.
A gardener who plants the seeds of life and waits for them to sprout.
“…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”Matt 28:20