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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Garden (09/07/06)

By Valerie Routhieaux



I entered the garden, and closed the gate behind me. ďAre you here, God? Itís me again. Your flowers are lovely this time of year. I just love all the beautiful colors and shapes. Roger left this morning. He wonít be back until next spring. You will be sure to stay with him every moment, wonít you? I know You will. Itís just that I worry so much. I donít like thinking that the next time he comes home it might be in a box. That would tear my heart right out of me. Weíve only been married a year, God. I just want You to keep him safe.

ďMama 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.

ďMama 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 itís my turn.

ďYou will keep him safe? Weíre going to be parents You know, and I donít want our baby to grow up without a father.

ďI got a letter from Mama today. She misses her garden. Theyíll 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, wonít You? I know You will. Itís 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. Iím glad theyíre 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 couldnít have stopped her if I wanted to, and Daddy was beaming so. I canít imagine what theyíre going to bring back with them. Mama did hint that there was a surprise for us and the baby.

ďThe baby will be born right around Christmas, Your sonís birthday. You should have seen their faces, and Rogerís. 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.

ďI miss him, and heís only been gone for a couple hours. You will keep him safe? I know, itís the third time Iíve asked. Itís just that, well, I just donít 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.

ďMama 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, thatís my only prayer today. Bring him home safe."

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Member Comments
Member Date
Esther Phillips09/15/06
I don't know if this is a true story or not. If it is, I pray for your husband to come home safe and sound. If it is not, it certainly could be because it sounds so real. You did a good job of making me feel like I was in your garden. I could feel the peace there.
Malin Boman09/16/06
Oh, how I wish I could go there, sit on the swing and pray for my loved ones.
Tying the past with the future made it very personal and real, somwhere safe where you could sense God's peace.
Thank you, I will now start to find my own little prayer garden in my backyard!
Jen Davis09/26/06
Sounds like a beautiful garden. In my own garden, I have a small metal sign that says "One is nearer God's heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth." I find that it's true because I can be still there. Your writing was very heartfelt. If this is true I also pray that he will come home safely.