My mother is a wonderful gardener…
I wish you could sip iced tea with us as we look over her backyard.
Every corner is filled with a beautiful tapestry of color that spills over her carefully edged flower beds.
The scents are intoxicating and the fruits of her labor luscious as we eat raspberries just picked from the vine.
None of this beauty happened by accident. It has been carefully planned and tended with a lot of backbreaking work. As we walk through the garden, my mother points out each plant by name.
“This rosebush didn’t bloom much last year, so I had to cut it back,” she says, cradling a lovely blossom in her hand.
“This peony had to be moved to get more sun, and I had to pull out a lot of irises to make room for more corn.”
Her eyes glow warmly as she talks about her tasks, but what she describes is a series of seemingly brutal acts. Leafy branches chopped off. Healthy bushes pulled up by their roots. Blooming plants dug up and taken away.
Each act is a certain kind of death. But all of it is done with love in the interest of summer bounty.
As I stroll with my mother through her garden, I’m reminded of the times I’ve questioned the One who tends the garden of my heart.
Especially during those times when His work felt more like death than life.
Dying to Live
“I never knew suicide was so slow or so painful,” I told my husband one night after falling into bed exhausted from an especially difficult period of battling my lower nature. But it wasn’t just the “suicide” I was struggling with. It wasn’t just my choosing to die to self. God seemed to be working me over as well. [Read more…]