My mother always loved to garden; she had a green thumb. When I was a little boy, I remember her taking cuttings or seed pods from plants and flowers she would find while she was out that she would like for her own garden. She would wrap them up carefully in a tissue and when we got home, she would work her magic to make them grow and eventually plant in the back yard. She had a beautiful garden with flowers, plants, and bushes, and even trees growing in our yard that came from all over.
I have gotten into the same habit. I have an olive tree growing in my yard that started from a cutting I took at St. Thomas More Church, I have a beautiful lavender that started from a cutting I took from TAC where my daughter is in college, I have plumeria from Mike’s yard, cacti and succulents from Dave’s yard, and some boysenberries from Debbie. It seems that everything growing in my garden has a story of where it came from. I take delight in my garden. I love to watch and see how it grown thru the seasons and over the years. And I especially like taking time to reflect, think and pray in my garden!
I have two rocking chairs in my garden. One morning not too long ago, I invited God to sit with me for a while, as a friend, so I could share with him what I have been up to in my garden and show him how it has grown. I wanted him to see what I’ve created and how I put it together and cared for it to make it beautiful. I wanted him to be proud of the work I have done! And then I realized (or remembered) that it was him, my friend, who first created it as a gift for me to care for; to put in order; to tend to. He made me a steward of these gifts he had given me, to put them to good use in order to create something beautiful. This little epiphany, sitting in a rocking chair with my friend, made me think beyond my garden and recognize how I need to use the gifts he gave me to create and care for things that are even more beautiful in the world … beyond my little garden in the backyard. He made me recognize how I need to use the gifts given to me to tend to people around me and help them to grow.
This is what we're here for, in our own little corner of the world, to use the gifts that God has given us to help those around us, to help them grow into better people and in turn, become better people ourselves. How are you helping others? How are you using your God given talents to heal, encourage, support, and love your neighbor? As we journey through the week, let's think about how we can use our gifts to help the people we find in our own little gardens to feel a little bit better. Have a wonderful week!
--In Christ...Deacon John.