A former student gave me the cross pictured above, and it sits in my front yard among our flowers and shrubs as a reminder of the power of a garden. It states, “One is closer to God in a garden than any place else on earth.” I have found this to be true, and wherever we travel, one of the first places we seek are any botanical or municipal gardens. It was the same in all of the cities in Spain we visited this month.
A garden reminds me of the creativity of God as the Master Gardener. It brings the biblical story to life for me, as I am reminded that God created a beautiful garden, the Garden of Eden, where God created flowers, plants, and trees to meet the needs of human beings. I marvel to think that God knew that our hearts, minds, and spirits required beauty to help us find peace in the world. The colors and the sheer variety of plants in the gardens we experienced in the city of Elche gave my soul such pleasure.
There is much we can learn about ourselves in a garden, for flowers and trees that are so very different in height, colors, textures, and beauty exist together, forming a harmonious scene, one in which each plays their part to make the whole more wonderful. If only we could apply that same sense of wonder and necessity for each human being and what every one of us brings to the human tableau, then, hate and fear of our differences would disappear and our humanity would be off the chain!
Beauty in differences ceases to be an abstract term and becomes a manifestation of God’s workmanship in creating each of us as a masterpiece meant to add some comfort and purpose to the world. In a garden, every flower, tree, blade of grass, and water feature contribute to the fun and enjoyment that one experiences. I can walk in a botanical garden for hours, but it is in sitting down and marveling at the sheer beauty around me that peace enters into my soul, a peace that truly surpasses understanding.
Gardens are gifts from the Creator, and I always thank God for gifting people with the ability to create such beauty, never forgetting the words of 1 Corinthians 3:7 that one plants, one waters, but it is God who gives the increase. Men and women work in the gardens, but it is God who gives the seed permission to sprout. I learned all about photosynthesis in school, but it cannot explain how a tiny seed becomes a mighty oak.
I also thank God for creating the world in colors. I just don’t believe we would be so enamored of gardens if they were in black and white or gray. It is the vibrancy of reds, yellows, oranges, blues, purple, and other colors that touch our hearts and calls to our spirits. Thank you, Father in Heaven, for the beauty and richness of a world in rainbow-colored splendor!
Problems seem to go away in a garden, knowing that they have no place in such a warm and colorful place. Holding my husband’s hand while sitting among the magnificent scenery around us reminded me of God’s amazing love for us flawed human beings. I believe that what the first man and woman most missed when exiled from the Garden of Eden was the loss of beauty, and that we have spent all of creation trying to replicate it in our homes or in municipal parks.
From exotic trees to plants and flowers I had seen before, I was enraptured by the beautiful Municipal Garden and the Huerta del Cura garden in Elche (Elx), Spain. Both gardens were located near residences and businesses. The Municipal Garden had walking paths with so much art and flowers, and children and adults played together among the ducks and other wildlife.
Douglas and I wondered what was it about the soil that produced such tall specimen of palm trees in Elche and in Alicante where we stayed. But the answer is that only God knows, for He is the Master Gardener, creating spaces of beauty for us, places with the power to stop the world and give us time for the wonder and beauty so needed to survive in this life.
Indeed, Isaiah 58:11 states, “The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.”
The power of a garden can’t be fully explained; it must be lived! Find one today and take time to let go of your problems and just enjoy the beauty and colors of God’s great creation. It’s never too late to start children loving the wonderful spaces of a garden, for there is nothing there that will frighten them, only smells and colors to mesmerize them! What a gift to give them.
Fandango prompt is Abstract. word of the Day Challenge is Manifestation. Daily Addictions prompt is Exotic. Scott’s Daily Prompt is Late. Your Daily Prompt is Frighten.