Close your eyes, little love. Close your eyes and imagine a garden. Do you see it now? It’s there behind a gleaming gate held up by – wait, it stands on its own. The gate swings wide for you. You look down and see the invitation in your hand.
“Taste and see.”
But I’m not a gardner, you say. I shall surely destroy the beauty – I am not trained, I am not equipped, I am not…
And then a Voice in the garden speaks.
And your hand reaches out for the bloom.
“Grace is her name.”
You look around, the heavens infinite above you and no horizon below. The fragrance overwhelms you, and knees grow week. The Voice speaks again.
And your hand reaches out for the fruit that looks like nine.
“Life is her name. Taste her. Taste compassion and kindness, taste peace and steadfastness. Taste gentleness and joy. Taste love and discipline and always forever faithful.”
You taste. And you long to put the fruit in a basket and give it to all who hunger. There are so many hungry. So many.
And you fall to your knees. And knees become roots watered by tears of gratitude and adoration. Fruit in your hands becomes fruit on your limbs, ever-growing for others to receive.
You hear the Voice yet again.
“You, my love. Look at you, growing strong. You are a Christ-tree, bearing His image and His life and His love. You offer shade for parched souls. You offer refreshment for the weary. You offer shelter for the hurting. Your branches dance in celebration and in invitation.”
There you are, rooted and grounded in love. There you are, tasting eternity. There you are in the garden. Glory, love. You are in the garden. The gates swing wide, and you hear the words.
“But I am not a gardener…”
And then the Voice.
Oh God of the garden, I am overwhelmed to think that You would see me as a Christ-tree, that You would graft me in to eternity and let me be part of giving eternity’s hope to those who are hungry and thirsty and in need of shade. Oh sweet Father, don’t let my knees grow weary – for its in humbling myself in prayer and communion that Your love and power transform my kneeling to growing, my weakness to strength. It’s in the garden with You that I taste the sweetness of grace, and it’s in the garden with You that compassion grows, that joy comes alive, that gentleness and patience and faithfulness and commitment find their place in great love – love that wants to be shared with others. I can’t love well without You. Lord, let me not want to close the gates to anyone. Let my branches dance in celebration for every hesitant soul who hears Your voice. Let my life be a picture of the garden with infinity above and no horizon below.