and there He placed the man He had made.
The LORD God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground
--trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit.
In the middle of the garden He placed the tree of life
and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
A river flowed from the land of Eden,
watering the garden and then dividing into four branches.
[Genesis 2: 8-10 NLT]
This week the Chelsea Flower Show is in full swing and the British passion for gardening is again demonstrated.
What is it about gardens which evokes such a response in so many? I wonder if it is the call of Eden, a 'memory' deep in our spirits of that first garden, where the Lord walked in 'the cool of the day'? Maybe we know instinctively we can encounter Him there - if we take the time.
A garden is also one of the ways where man's inspired creativity takes raw ingredients and develops them to create something new & beautiful.
We rightly delight in the glory of the 'unspoilt' natural world, but as well as treasuring and caring for the Lord's gifts to us, another element of our calling as children of God is to take our inheritance and develop it. A garden is a wonderful picture of that calling in process.
If you are not blessed with a garden, take some time out to visit someone else's - there are many private gardens open for charity throughout the summer, in addition to the large public gardens & parks, open the year round. Details can be found in the links below:
The Quiet Garden Movement, which 'encourages the provision of a variety of local venues where there is an opportunity to set aside time to rest and to pray' is also worth exploring.....
Its website has various resources, as well as a list of over 300 Quiet Gardens around the world.
If you stand still for a few minutes in the relentless onward rush of 21st century life you might hear a quiet but insistent undercurrent. It is the cry of our hearts for space and time just to be, to listen to the heartbeat of creation, to let our souls catch up. Quiet gardens offer just such longed-for oases of peace. They open up once more what all our busy-ness has buried – the precious gift of heart-time and soul-space.
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