Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Garden (09/07/06)
TITLE: Guarded Haven
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The brisk breeze romps through our eighty-five acres of farmland and woods. Like a child at play, it rustles the ripening corn stalks, and teases the walnut leaves from their wispy branches. When it comes to my garden, though, it grows still and whispers. It walks softly through the lavender, rosemary, and lemon balm, and runs its silken fingertips through the mint, releasing the fragrant oils. With the skill of an ancient apothecary, it mixes the scent of roses and honeysuckle into a perfume that permeates the air. Echinacea and bee balm vie for its attention. My perennials sigh, and the vegetables lift their droopy heads, glad for a reprieve from the late summer sun.
Like the breath from angelís wings, the wind flows along the sacred dimensions of my garden. It seems to sense my need for a haven from the cares of this hectic life, and guards the borders with a holy jealousy. I feel protected as I take the warm earth into my hands. The dirt crumbles through my fingers, rich and moist, and I wonder how God felt when forming Adam and Eve. I try to imagine the garden He created for them, free from sin, as I look at the weeds in mine threatening to mount a major revolt. I smile to myself. A perfect garden, wouldnít that be nice!
Gardens are mentioned over sixty times, in eighteen different books of the Scriptures. To me, they have a special connection to Heaven. The night before he went to the cross, Jesus wept in the garden of Gethsemane. He was buried in a garden tomb. When I watch the miracle of a perfect plant spring to life from a dead, shriveled up seed, I am reminded of his death and resurrection. When a butterfly lands close to me, I think of the same transformation I will go through one day. Spiritual truths abound in garden settings, just waiting to be gleaned.
Filling my basket with green beans and tomatoes, I reflect on how the Lord once walked with Adam in perfect fellowship, in a perfect garden. Now He walks in mine. Humbled, I treasure this spiritual intimacy with Him as I work. The wind understands; after all, it was there with Him in the beginning, and has been through many gardens since. In quiet reverence, it waits until Iím done. Then it goes on its way, leaving me to enjoy the fruits of my labor, promising to be back tomorrow.
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