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Creating Beauty

I love to garden. Shrubs, flowers, trees – I love the shapes and colors, the textures and fragrances of each one and how they come together to make surprising and unexpected beauty. Being in my garden feeds my soul.

But gardens need care – weeding, pruning, dividing, and transplanting occur frequently. It’s part of the deal – part of the joy – at least most of the time.

When it comes to pruning and moving and removing, I am often ruthless. I have no remorse at significantly hacking a shrub back or moving it a few (dozen) times to get it just to the right spot. And when it gets too gangly or no longer complements the landscape, it gets put in a pot, shared with someone else, or sent to the compost pile.

My garden (my habitat, as my husband calls it) is constantly being adjusted – not because I am unhappy with it, but because I love it and bringing out the beauty that is there brings me joy.

Recently, I was sitting in the garden reflecting on this time in our lives – this pandemic season which has so altered our present – and to what degree we don’t know yet – our future. As I sat, a rose caught my attention and (squirrel!) I thought how it was time to put something different in that spot.

As the two thoughts came together, I literally caught my breath. “God is this what you are doing?” Pruning, weeding, transplanting – because you are creating something even more beautiful?” As He tends to us amidst the struggles and fears and pain in our world today, is He shaping us, changing us and rearranging us for His glory and our good?

I think so. Thankfully, God is more gentle and wise as a Gardener than I. He sees the whole picture, knows what we can endure and how to care for each one of us – even as He creates His beautiful landscape – for our good and to His glory.

Those thoughts don’t make this time easy, but they certainly give me hope. I hope they bring you hope as well.

“If you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday. And the Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water who waters do not fail.” Isaiah 58:10-11

-Jeannie Patterson, Development Associate

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