I used to leave him standing there alone after my Amen, in the garden among the dewy roses, with a heart full of the joy we shared that none other will ever know.
Funny, he never waived good bye from the other side of the locked gate. He just watched me walk back in to the world, and sighed. He was always there when I returned, however, and always happy to see me, so I never entertained a second thought about his feelings.
Then one crisp spring morning, after an extremely hard night, he shocked me. Most words that morning were mine. I talked and whined from the American Beauties to the Marie De Blois. I complained louder than the falling waters in the fountain. I bared my soul under every vine covered arch and on the path through the mums and chrysanthemums.
By the time we got the gate on the other side of the garden I had nothing left, except the dread of another impossible day. My emotional balloon was empty and I should have felt better, but I didn’t.
That’s when he said it.
“Abide with me.”
“What? Abide with you??
“Abide with me.”
“I can’t stay here with you. I have to go to work. People depend upon me. I have responsibilities. Listen, I absolutely adore being with you, but I have a life to live outside this garden.”
I expected him to look disappointed, but he just smiled at me, like he expected me to “get it” at any moment. He laid a nail-scared hand on my shoulder and looked me in the eyes, and I got it.
“Oh! You want to come with me! Well, that’s a great idea, but really I don’t know if you’d enjoy some of the things I have to do, and some of the people I have to work with.”
Again he said
“Abide with me.”
I could tell there would be no arguing with him, and we were already at the gate. So, I swung the thing wide and said, “Let’s go then. It’ll be an adventure!”
We rode the bus together, and he helped me with my work and to bless my boss and fellow workers. When we got home he sat with me and my family and laughed over our dinner conversations. Bedtimes were much easier, and bath times were a bit warmer with him around too. I think he was still there when I nodded off on the couch, but I had to look for him in the Garden the next day.
“Why did you go?” I asked him.
He told me how he loved abiding with me everywhere I went, and even wanted to do it again every day, but that didn’t mean he wanted to give up our private place. There were things he wanted to disclose to me, private things. He wanted to tell me I was his own, and that could be a little embarrassing for me anywhere else but in The Garden.
He also liked calling me, and then seeing me show up to walk and talk with him alone.
We continued walking together in The Garden every day, but it didn’t end there. From then on Amen was a different word to me. It was not a period ending my prayers, but an agreement and a unity that spurred on our walking and brought power to our planning, performing, and learning.
Instead of locking him behind the gate Amen cut the bolt and tossed it in to the bushes. It released us into a deeper, minute by minute, walking and talking relationship.
We still love dewy roses, but now we occasionally take a few Marie De Blois with us to share through out our day.
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