The first verse of Hymn 3 in our hymn book reads…..
A grateful heart a garden is,
Where there is always room
For every lovely, Godlike grace
To come to perfect bloom
Over the past few weeks I have found being in our garden a peaceful place in which to pray about the challenging situations our country has recently had to deal with such as the terrorist attacks, the political changes and uncertainty and most recently the fire in tower block.
I love gardening and learn more each season about the plants and trees we have as well as the wildlife that visit every day. At this time of year our borders are full and overflowing with herbaceous plants and I am becoming much more aware of the needs of everything growing here.
There are flowers that enjoy the full sun and produce a wonderful scent that attracts the bees and butterflies, others prefer a shady habitat. Some grow tall and strong and naturally support and protect the smaller plants under them. We also have plants that don’t flower but their foliage is varied in colour and shape and this compliments the brighter flowers beside them. The trees offer a safe, high habitat for the birds and their fledglings and our little pond provides frogs with a quiet home.
During the night we know that the garden is enjoyed by nocturnal creatures, such as foxes and hedgehogs providing them with an environment where they can look for food and feel safe.
This year I have really noticed how everything just seems happy to find its place in the garden quite naturally. There is no sense of one plant competing with another for space or light, they bend in the wind together and share the rain or my watering! Each has its time to bloom and then a time to rest. When they need extra feed, support or shelter I give them the care that they need. Pulling up the weeds is a necessary and sometimes on going job but it does give the plants more space and stops them being choked or overrun.
Sitting on the garden bench in the early morning sunshine I have found such a sense of peace and spiritual inspiration. As the children of God, we each possess unique and beautiful qualities and are cared for, nurtured, guided and supported by our Father Mother, God.
Acknowledging that, as God’s spiritual reflections we can experience no sense of burden, fear or doubt, our lives will be filled with peace, love, unselfishness, generosity and beauty. We will find ways of supporting and loving more and our spiritual growth will be strong and assured. ‘Weeding’ our thinking sometimes needs to take place and at times persistently – discarding the erroneous thoughts which we can replace with spiritually enriching ideas and qualities.
God, being ever present and all knowing, supplies us with what we need. –our ‘spiritual food’. His love encircles us, His strength supports us, His wisdom guides our spiritual growth and His gentleness comforts and nurtures.
Being ‘spiritual’ gardeners gives us unlimited opportunities to pray for our families, our church, our neighbour hood and the wider world, affirming, that growing and living in God’s ‘garden, in His consciousness, we can live, thrive and bloom together in peace and harmony.