Wednesday, April 23, 2008

For the Beauty of the Earth

For the Beauty of the Earth -

That old hymn rolls around in my brain. Today is a spectacular spring day, mild and bright, with every plant trying to flower and bring forth fruit, and every person dressed brightly, in step with the rhythm of the season. Spring is here and delight is tangible.

I spent part of yesterday putting plants in the ground and in hanging baskets. I love having my hands in the dirt and turning over stiff, dry earth to help it come alive. I am also aware of how much watering and care a garden really takes. Everyone likes to look and awe at gardens and flowers, but few love to weed and water. It's not glamorous, it's what necessary. Some days the water falls from the sky, but that only encourages the weeds, that can choke out abundant life. Behind great beauty is great work, a great commitment to constant relationship and care. God cares for us like a tender, constant gardener.We often neglect one another and let weeds and words choke off relationship and love before it is fully grown, before there is any fruit.

Today, I pray to be reminded of the need to care and water daily. My faith work is to grow and care for the relationships I have been given, as tenderly and with the same enthusiasm I dig in the garden. All of us need to be fed and mulched and watered with forgiveness when we droop and wilt. I pray that I can be a good gardener of the love and lives that God has shared with me.

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