“So long ago the Garden…” sang Larry Norman, when I was young, and referencing the oldest tale in the Bible. God created a Garden as the perfect home for humanity. I’ve just come in from my garden which is teaching me many lessons about living as a follower of Jesus Christ.
This rose has a history for me. I bought “Deep Secret” for my Mum: it’s almost-black buds open into a lovely deep velvety red rose with a glorious fragrance. She loved it! It came from Woolworths (another name from the far past). Mum kept it and cared for it, and repaid the love by growing the rosebud I wore in my lapel on my wedding day. She also grew a cutting for me, so my garden in Derbyshire had a “Deep Secret.”
“Deep Secret” also featured in my new-build garden in Devon; and in the garden in Luton. Now back in Sussex, I went searching the garden centres until I found it again. This photo is from my front rose-bed today.
Retirement is offering me, for the first time ever, the opportunity to garden without needing to grab time from pressing agendas and obligations. My garden is a place to think, and to wholesomely sweat as I wage war against weeds and bugs; but above all a haven of peace and beauty. Having a garden gives responsibilities to mow the lawn, weed out the wrong plants, and share the blessing of beauty with the neighbours.
So I’m going to do a little series of reflections on gardens, me, and God.
The Garden of Eden is a story of love and tragedy. A perfect place, a new creation, a perfect relationship: all too quickly scarred and spoilt, and a breakdown of trust. What’s the “Deep Secret” of Eden? Love doesn’t give up. God provides for human needs, and puts into motion the secret plan prepared before Time began. See 2 Timothy 1:9 “For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time- to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.”
Life changes when we discover this precious “Deep Secret.” There’s a heavenly fragrance to enjoy…