I’m so grateful that God created humanity and put that first man and woman into a garden. That is where we belong — in a place where we are surrounded by living object lessons, brilliant expressions of God’s nature and our relationship with Him and with each other.
Because of sin those stories and relationships have been damaged, but not destroyed completely. And while humanity is, to varying degrees, less comfortable in the garden than I expect we were in the beginning of our existence, there is still a strong pull.
I don’t think that those of us who can hardly keep our hands out of the dirt are more in tune with God than others — but I do think that we are more in tuned with God through his creation than others who may be in tune with Him in the other ways. (Gary L. Thomas talks about these pathways of connection with God in his book titled Sacred Pathways. I have found it helpful.)
The unusual string of nights with freezing temperatures we have had this winter in Florida (and other southern spaces) have left us more brown than green in February and it feels wrong. I find myself feeling a discomfort about it. I may have to go to Lowe’s and spend a few dollars on some flowers and shove them into pots this weekend as a demonstration that reconciliation is coming.
The real work of reconciliation in my yard which is in it’s after-the-freeze state will not begin with planting, but with pruning. LOTS of pruning. In fact, my yard will look worse — almost barren — before it can begin to look green and alive again.
I’m like that, too. Sometimes the freeze comes in the night and parts of me die. Before the signs of renewed life can find expression, I must go through the work of pruning. Reconciliation is possible, ultimately, because Jesus died; additionally it requires a kind of death to self that initially appears to make “me” less before we can be wholly what we were created to be.