"You who dwell in the gardens with friends in attendance, let me hear your voice!"
~ Song of Songs 8:13
Years ago I lived among corn fields, rolling hills, and valleys that often had small streams fed by underground cave systems.
My idea of a garden was the side pasture where we would raise vegetables and where our barn and an old corn crib stood.
Every now and then I can become nostalgic thinking about those days, especially as fall approaches. It was a lot of work to take care of the few head of cattle we kept, chickens, and cats and dogs that seemed to come and go.
Our winters seemed to last forever at times. During that time, the garden would lie frozen, until the spring thaw would once again allow the black dirt to be turned, new lines for crops drawn, and rows planted.
But it was during the winter that we enjoyed the rewards of working hard all summer. Canned green beans, frozen fresh corn, onions, and potatoes would become part of stews and casseroles.
It is no wonder that God decided to create a garden first for humanity to dwell in. I guess in many ways, we were part of God's first harvest, creating us from dust, and bringing us to life with God's own breath.
While much of the time I spent as a young person was weeding the rows in the garden, God spends so much time pouring hope and dreams into all that God creates.
It's so important to remember that we are still part of that garden. While we know the Garden of Eden was a paradise until humanity made the choice to do what God had asked the original inhabitants not to, there still is a sense that perhaps if we try hard enough, we might see a glimpse of that garden today.
It's about being reminded that what we sow creates the world around us. It's about being good stewards with our blessings, and seeking to be what God has placed in us for one another.
While some want to worry about those who might be seen as weeds among the garden, our call is to belp one another, so that when we experience times of drought, floods, or the days of winter, we may sustain one another.
Today walk with God in the garden, and stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.