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In the Garden

Last night’s St Clement’s PCC meeting took place in the beautiful setting of Stanton House, near Oxford. Partway through we had a break to wander in the gardens and reflect; here is what came to me:

Does God laugh at me when I try to cultivate and care for my garden? I think not but he might if I thought I could out-do his rain with my watering can. In an afternoon he can bring life and refreshment to an area that I could only water each part of once in a lifetime — and that only with water already fallen from his sky.

I am sure he smiled at least — though kindly — when I made the mistake of trying to set on his recently watered grass. And then, grass! That misnomer for the verdant sward, myriad upon myriad of flora and fauna, richer in itself than any planting scheme I could devise.

Or what of my excitement over a single tree I planted when I stand among his giants? Some of them started before I was born and many will still stand long after my corruptible frame has been left behind.

And yet, as I glance and enjoy the sight of a rabbit darting along the edge of the nearby stream, I remember that, because God loves me and has caused me to be planted by a river of living water, I carry within me the promise of fruit in season, prospering under his careful, love-stained pruning.

That is cause enough to live humbly and carefully among the grandeur of creation.

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