Thank you for stopping by my blog.

I write day after day because I discover extraordinary lessons from ordinary life experiences. I record my visual portraits of everyday life filled with something sacred in hopes that my reflections might bring an insight that blesses my readers.

Monday, April 30, 2012

A Gardener's Heart

Unprotected plants.
A Gardener’s Heart 

“Oh, no, not again.” I said out loud as I listened to the weather woman remind her audience to cover tender plants tonight. She explained that temperatures would fall below 32 degrees, and we would have a hard frost.

In the last month, I have dragged out my old sheets several times to cover newly budding perennials.  Since March brought such warm temperatures, many plants bloomed prematurely, and I worried that the frosts of April would burn or destroy them. 

I went outside and fought the winds like a warrior.  I tried to cover my rose bush with a  sheet that was flying in the wind .  First,  I tried embracing the bush to cover it. I pulled down one corner of the sheet and put a rock on it. Suddenly, a burst of wind came under the sheet and  pulled it off before I could tie down the other corners.  The sheet flew into the yard. I again tried to place the covering over the rose bush. I repeated the process and the rose bush stuck and stabbed me several times.  It and the sheet had become my enemy.  I was trying to help protect the bush, but it seemed to be fighting me back.  Finally, with the help of bungee cords and rocks, and several tries, I was successful. Then, I went on to the next bush or plant that needed covered.  The process was tedious and repetitive but necessary to protect my plants from damage.

I complained about the process to neighbors and face book readers.  Many felt my pain and shared their battles with the wind and thorns and their sheets. 

Then, Sunday, in our Commonway Church service, the Lord nudged me.  Within my soul, I heard, “What lessons are you learning from your sheets?” 

When I heard this soft voice, I got out my small, portable notebook, and I wrote what I sensed was being shared.  I heard, “ The sheets are your covering by me.” 

The light bulbs went on. Suddenly, I realized that just as I covered my plants, He had protected me.  Often, I had run ahead of Him, ignored His frost warning, or done nothing.  I was out in the open field vulnerable to the elements of life.

Without His protection, I could have been stunted, burned, or even withered on the vine.  Christ has been my anchored covering many times when I was not patient enough to wait for His timing.  He loved me so much that He protected and guarded me even when I did not heed His warning.

Protected plants.
 It is only in abiding in Him that any of my life purposes are completed.  Without Him, I am not fruitful or productive. Without His words of encouragement and guidance, I am struggling against winds and cold all alone.  I hear Him only when I cling closely to Him, my vine of life.  I sometimes struggle to hold on, but amidst my struggles, He has always tenderly covered me with a sheet of protection, a grace not earned, a provision from my own tender Gardner.