God is in Gardens

By PONTIFICUS MINIMUS

Gardens and gardening reflect God’s creative and redemptive power. Many a pastoral life’s non-encumbrances include outside air, sunshine, the smell of soil, time for reflection, and the greatest gift of all–watching a tiny green plant with a leaf or two and a limp stem grow into whatever God designed during its ancestral creation some 6,000 odd years ago.

God is in Gardens!

Whoa, Pontificus, you did not say the earth is only 6,000 years old, did you, fine sir? Yep, I did, and I will address in the future as to why I think the earth is young and why I believe tenaciously in intelligent design. But, for today, it’s back to the gardens.

In his letter to the Roman church, the Apostle Paul wrote, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

The genetic makeup causing one tiny (why do we prefer “tiny” to “small” in the South?) green plant to produce one kind of fruit and another similar-looking plant to produce a different kind of fruit with different colors and textures is nothing short of absolutely miraculous, and all of this from a tiny seed decidedly designed with all the complex genetic code needed for it to become what it was intended to be.

The sun shining on a molecule of pond scum, even for eons, couldn’t produce something as complex as a plant, much less a human eye. It is nothing short of marvelous recognition to think a tiny seed can produce food to eat, herbs to heal, flowers to tantalize the olfactory nerves and the prospect of honest labor to regenerate the physical body as well as the human spirit.

Years ago, while mountain biking high up in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Pontificus remembers how beautiful a single, high-mountain wildflower would appear when seen amidst such unruffled settings. Surely that flower, which would be gone tomorrow and seen by no one else, was put there by the Creator for Pontificus’s edification!

God is in Gardens!

God’s Word is best understood from an agrarian perspective. Parables, fables, life lessons, and admonitions for Godly living are best comprehended if one has an understanding of God’s redemptive and creative power seen through the close and reflective observance of his creation–flora and fauna.

Two prominent gardens and the allusion to another are mentioned in the Bible. They are the Garden of Eden, The Garden of Gethsemane, and the banks of the river of the water of life in Revelation, where the tree of life bears twelve different fruit every single month.

God is in Gardens!

The Garden of Eden “Fall” (I am not talking about the gravitational pull on the lifeless leaves of deciduous trees) was indicative of humanity at its lowest; the Garden of Gethsemane was reflective of the God/Man Jesus Christ’s difficult-yet-sinless triumph over the temptation to exercise divine power to avoid painful divine purpose, and the last garden alluded to in Revelation is representative of eternal redemption found in Eden restored.

God is in Gardens!

Intelligent design, symbiotic relationships among carbon-based life forms–plants, insects, animals and humans–and reflection exponential are inherent and apparent in a garden.

Pontificus remembers viewing a nature documentary that delineated how the absence of just one type of ant in the Amazon could affect the eco-culture of the whole world. Everything created is intertwined.

The mother of Pontificus knows the name of just about every plant and bird found in the Mississippi Delta, and she did, in fact, try to get the easily distracted one to learn them verbatim as a child. He did not listen; he should have.

God is in Gardens!

He might not have learned the nomenclature of all God’s creation as he should have, but he sure got a taste for the bucolic scenery and an ability to see beyond the travails and troubles of the present by being among what makes for a great garden’s nourishment: soil, seed, water, the smell of new growth, and the ultimate takeaway–produce to eat or senses stimulated.

St. Francis of Assisi was reported to have once been asked while hoeing his garden, “What would you do if you were suddenly to learn that you were to die at sunset today?” He replied that he would finish hoeing his garden.

Though the produce of a garden is awesome and physically life giving, the reflective time available to commune with God and His creation is the sustenance of temporal-leading-to-eternal life.

God is in Gardens! And, so may we be also!

 

WE HIGHLY ENCOURAGE COMMENTS!!


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Comments

  1. Billy, Simply put. That is one of your finest!

  2. You are welcome Sir!

  3. Deborah Vance Morgan says:

    That was a splendid article. I am a farmer’s daughter and an avid gardener – nothing like dirt under the fingernails and the smell of dirt after a good rain shower – working the soil and watching the plants grow is the greatest therapy – keeps me sane. Others could probably save a lot of money on medications if they participated as well – wish this article of yours had wider viewership. Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. Thanks.

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