Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Garden (09/07/06)
TITLE: PRAYER GARDEN
By Valerie Routhieaux
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I entered the garden, and closed the gate behind me. “Are you here, God? It’s me again. Your flowers are lovely this time of year. I just love all the beautiful colors and shapes. Roger left this morning. He won’t be back until next spring. You will be sure to stay with him every moment, won’t you? I know You will. It’s just that I worry so much. I don’t like thinking that the next time he comes home it might be in a box. That would tear my heart right out of me. We’ve only been married a year, God. I just want You to keep him safe.
“Mama told me how it was with Daddy when he went off to war. There was just me at the time. She spent a lot of time right here in this garden and prayed and talked to You. She said it was such a comfort. And then the war was over, and Daddy came home, and there was joy in our home again. And of course You know that a while later there were a few more of us.
“Mama told me how she and Daddy would swing on that swing over there by the fountain, and would hold hands and pray. Mama called this her prayer garden, cause whenever she had something she needed to talk over with You she came here. Now it’s my turn.
“You will keep him safe? We’re going to be parents You know, and I don’t want our baby to grow up without a father.
“I got a letter from Mama today. She misses her garden. They’ll be home at the end of the week. Mama and Daddy are taking the vacation they always wanted. You will make sure they make it home safely, won’t You? I know You will. It’s just that England is such a long ways away, but they said that the best gardens were over there. They also went to Europe to see some famous gardens there. I’m glad they’re coming home. It will help take the loneliness away, and I know Mama is looking forward to being a grandmother. Remember the look on her face when we told her? She went right out and ordered a whole nursery. I couldn’t have stopped her if I wanted to, and Daddy was beaming so. I can’t imagine what they’re going to bring back with them. Mama did hint that there was a surprise for us and the baby.
“The baby will be born right around Christmas, Your son’s birthday. You should have seen their faces, and Roger’s. Oh yeah, You did see them. Mama started planning as soon as we told her. You could see it in her eyes. She was so excited. Then Roger got his orders.
“I miss him, and he’s only been gone for a couple hours. You will keep him safe? I know, it’s the third time I’ve asked. It’s just that, well, I just don’t want to think of my life without him. I love him so much, and I want to have more children. We have this whole house to fill up. It was such a surprise when Mama and Daddy gave us the deed to their home. They said that it was the perfect place to raise a family, and they wanted to know it was going to someone who would take care of it, and fill it with lots of love and laughter.
“Mama made this garden just to be with You. I think she put every kind of flower in here, along with a couple trees for shade, and the fountain. She said the garden had to have a fountain, because of that song about Your blood being a fountain. I know that I feel the peace of it in this place. I just love being here with You. Roger felt it the first time he was here with me too. He swung with me in the swing and we prayed together just yesterday that he would come home safe. Please, God, that’s my only prayer today. Bring him home safe."
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