Maggie listened to the new pastor talk about using your talents for God. Lowering her eyes, God I don't have a special talent to use for You.
Rev. Jim stopped Maggie after the service. "Thank you for the flowers on the altar."
"They're from my garden." She began to turn, and then paused. "There's something I've wanted to ask you."
"What's that?" Rev. Jim tilted his head.
"I'd like to plant some flowers around the church." She hugged her Bible to her chest.
"Sounds wonderful," Rev. Jim turned to a tap on his shoulder.
Maggie headed to her car with a bounce in her step. I may not have a special talent, but I do my best thinking when I'm working with flowers.
Dawn had scarcely broken through the night sky when Maggie began unloading carefully selected cuttings and plants.
Clearing away the weeds and turning the soil, she tenderly placed each plant in the earth. Standing back admiring her work her eyes fell on the side yard. The trees were full and beautiful.
Excited, she began clearing away the tangled mess around the trees. It wasn't long before Rev. Jim was helping.
"What's next?" He wiped his brow.
"Roses in this area, and some lilies and ferns there," Maggie pointed, planning out a design in her head.
Returning the next day, working in the soil she continued to ponder her problem of not having a talent to use for God's glory.
"Morning Maggie," Tim removed his cap.
"Hi Tim," she smiled up at him.
"I noticed the work you're doing and I brought you a couple of benches, if you want them." He twisted the cap in his hands.
She jumped up to see. "These are perfect! I love the wrought iron and wooden slats."
After Tim helped her place the benches in just the right spots, she headed home.
Early the next morning she found Rev. Jim sitting on one of the benches with his Bible.
"Am I disturbing you?" Maggie set the flowers down.
"I thought you might need an assistant."
"First, I'm planting the purple alyssum around the benches." Grateful, she handed him a tool.
They worked side-by-side through out the morning.
"How about I get some sweet iced tea?" Smiling, his eyes sparkled with interest.
"Yes, please." Blushing, she smoothed the dirt.
"How is it you aren't married?" Handing her the tea.
"I was engaged once, fifteen years ago. Have you ever been married?" She nervously sipped her sweet tea.
"Suzie died in childbirth along with our son." His eyes revealed his pain. "What’s next?" He changed the subject.
"I need help with a fountain I have in storage. It will be perfect near the roses."
"Let's go get it. I'll get Tim to help."
Putting the finishing touches to the fountain, Rev. Jim placed the statue of an angel with her hands folded in prayer, on top.
Continuing her morning ritual of working in the garden, she often encountered Rev. Jim studying or praying. They spent long hours talking in what he now called, "The Garden of Prayer." One beautiful morning, with the kiss of dew still on the roses, he told Maggie he loved her and asked her to be his wife. A sweeping sadness came over her.
"More than anything I want to be your wife, but there's something you need to know about me. You always talk about God giving each of us a special talent, and how we should use it for Him. Well He ... didn't give me a talent. So you see I'm not qualified to be a minister's wife."
"Oh, my precious Maggie, you've created a place for people to sit and pray, a place of tranquility where they can feel closer to God and the beauty He placed on earth for us to enjoy."
Tears poured down her face as she realized the gift had been within her the whole time, with a prayer of thanks on her lips and a heart overflowing with love, she said yes.
She stood looking at the picture hanging over the mantle in their home. As a wedding gift, Jim had commissioned a painting of "The Garden of Prayer" in remembrance of the very place that brought them together ... the place where they exchanged their vows. Rubbing her hand over the swell of her stomach she felt her baby kick.
God not only blessed the work of my hands, He gave me the desires of my heart in the process.
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