As I have said before we have had little rain in the last few months. My beautiful little garden has been parched and began to shrivel and die. I lost some precious plants, some beautiful plants. The lawn stopped growing. A tree died, as did some hydrangeas and azaleas. There was little I could do. Watering was restricted. My conscience would not permit me to water lavishly anyway. Many people in the country had no water at all – it was being taken in, to their villages by lorry, in bottles, and had become a precious commodity. I could not bring myself to pour water on my town garden.
But it hurt me to see it turn brown before my eyes. After 6pm, as it grew dark, watering was permitted, so once a week I watered it and kept it going as best I could. I held the hose and blessed each plant with a drink. Some were more able to survive with little water, whilst others were thirsty.
Then I went away for a few weeks. My English friends with whom I was to travel, were concerned. “What about your garden?” they asked, aware of the restrictions.
Somewhat glibly I replied, as I looked around, checking my home one last time, “I will just have to leave it to God.”
And we climbed into the car and began our travels. It was three and a half weeks before I returned, wondering what my garden would look like. I flew in at midday and arrived home mid-afternoon, to find …
My garden … green and lush, flourishing as it had in the past. The azaleas are budding again, and the hydrangeas are sprouting. The perenials are shooting up everywhere – perenials I thought had bloomed for the last time in the previous summer. The shrubs are flowering and the little patch of land is full of colour and life. Birds celebrate the growth and the nesting opportunities, and feast on the worms and insects that abound.
Only the tree does not recover. But the garden has flourished under God’s care. My throw-away comment on leaving it in God’s care was heard and acted upon. And as I rejoice in the beauty of my little garden, I pray forgiveness for the light-hearted way I threw the matter into God’s hands, and then with worship of the Creator for the blessing of life, restored.
My garden is once again a sanctuary – blessed by the hands of the Gardener – who made it all in the first place.
And I am grateful and blessed.