When Solomon died and I saw a glimpse of heaven, I wanted to plant a garden. My hands in and out of the soil, the new life, the precious buds, the fascinating shades and sparkles and tiny fruit on the tree beckoned me to a place beyond the lightning bold harshness of the sudden death, the now-empty womb and wobbly unhugged heart.
You spoke to me in that garden – telling me to plant sunflower seeds and look beyond. My first summer garden bloomed and the winter season of my soul passed too. And in the turned over soil of my heart, another baby sprouted and bloomed and made my back ache!
For love of every bright blossom at the local market garden, I stuffed the garden full of colour – some plants thrived, others became lunch for slugs; others got rabbit bitten and others diseased from the close packing.
As a new baby cried and I recovered from the C-section surgery, the garden once again lay bare and pruned back waiting for Spring again. Spring sprang and a white stone border in my white-walled garden stood against the rainbow coloured petals, but I became frustrated with the diseased leaves and bug-bitten plants – twice zapping them with toxic bug killer to no avail.
It was then I began reading up a bit about gardening and realized my mistakes: overcrowding; not replenishing the soil; not accepting that some flowers are not everlasting, and not wanting to remove anything that might grow again.
As Autumn has begun here in the Southern Hemisphere, You have begun to speak to me once again through the garden – You have told me to clear out all the diseased and bug-bitten plants, to clear the ground, to prune back and to focus on the soil. You’ve told me the garden needs to rest. You told me not to buy any new flowers until Spring and I am trying to be patient. The only things You have allowed me to buy are two big bags of composted earth and a big bag of cow manure! (Apparently it smells less than horse poop – certainly true!)
And so I have cleared the garden, exposed the soil and added an arch in the corner for next year’s vines, made from the pruned branches of the young peach tree. For three months You have said, I am only allowed to attend to the soil and to preparation.
No new flowers;
– just fertilizer!
And I know that You are reminding me too that the fruit that will be visible in my life too will be a result of a heart fed on Your goodness, a life prepared with life’s fertilizer mixed in with our dreams and hopes for the beauty to be revealed.
Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
– Matthew 13:8
He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
– John 15:2