Amazing Grace in a Garden

After spending yesterday morning weeding the garden, I thought it was time to reward my labor with a trip to the plant nursery. I found this little guy nestled in next to the sturdier succulents, looking bright and hopeful that I’d notice him. He wasn’t showy but his tag, protruding through tiny leaves and even smaller flower buds, proclaimed him to be named “Amazing Grace”. That arrested my attention. How auspicious for a Good Friday to meet him there. Providential, tender mercies are often like that, unexpected.
Despite the labor required to maintain them, gardens have always represented to me a place of rest. Nowhere else am I able to forget the burdens and distractions of life than in their nurturing environment. So much of the labor there is metaphorical for our own garden life. Pruning, weeding, removing pests and rocks all parallels to maintaining our healthy growth. There is death and rebirth to be found in a garden as well, even redemption. Now that we are living in the Pacific Northwest, I can even witness the wonder of plants resurrected from winter’s freeze, further proving that life is a garden. I’ve learned many lessons in the quiet gardens, some thorny and painful, others fragrant and beautiful.
Is it little wonder that the Messiah chose a garden to seek peace before his trials? He is, after all, along with being the Good Shepherd, the Master Gardener. I am pruned, fed and blessed with amazing grace under his constant and loving care.
So, I welcome this little plant with the bold and beautiful name into my garden. I hope he thrives and becomes a blessing, not just to me. If his life is short, that is as it should be. While he’s sharing this garden, he may teach me to look beyond the physical to the greater spiritual truth of his name, amazing grace. I’m glad I don’t have to go to the nursery each year to purchase real grace, because the fact that I don’t is what makes it truly amazing.
What lessons have you learned from a garden? I’d like to know. There’s too much wonder in the world to keep it to ourselves.
Don’t forget that is our new address.

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