It wasn’t the prettiest corner of the garden.
Just a bank of rough, brown earth with a couple of tree stumps and no shortage of weeds, at the foot of a wall built with bare grey blocks. Hardly an exhibit for a flower show!
But it is fairly sheltered and it does get the sun so I thought, why not?
Now my gardening knowledge and skills are minimal, but I’m enjoying having a go. I pulled out the weeds, dug the earth over with a hoe and planted a few flowering shrubs. I added some pots with larger bushes, and last week nailed up a wooden trellis to dress the wall a bit. My wife got me one of those solar powered lamps to come on at night.
Maybe still not a prizewinner, but slowly I think we’re getting somewhere.
And I think perhaps I’m beginning to realise a little of why the first job the Creator entrusted to Mankind was to tend a garden! It feels good to have your hands in the earth, gently planting living things, faithfully watering them, and of course having the pleasure of watching them grow and flourish and blossom. It’s more joy than work!
Of course there are challenges. Some days the wind blows leaves and rubbish into my little patch. Sometimes the dog insists on pawing all over it. It needs a little love and protection, but I think it’s worth it.
And I’m thinking, maybe it’s a sort of picture of what we’re meant to do with our lives generally. Whatever we’ve been given – we should treasure it, nurture it, look after it and make it as beautiful as we can, with thanks and reverence for the One Who gives us all we are and have.
I’m reminded of an old children’s hymn which includes the lines:
‘Jesus bids us shine first of all for Him…
You in your small corner, and I in mine.’
Whatever ‘corner’ you’ve been given to inhabit and tend, large or small, do everything you can today, with words and acts of kindness and love, to make it beautiful!