You who dwell in the garden with friends in attendance,let me hear your voice.
Song of Songs 8:13
Last Sunday evening was bright and sunny so we went for a walk. On our way we passed a chap working in his front garden. Naturally we greeted him which struck up a conversation. After a short while it became clear that his memory was not quite as good as it had once been. He would sometimes forget words or place names or how to complete a sentence. He had had an operation on his head he told us apologetically.
However, in his garden he is able to be the man he always was. After all, the plants, animals and birds are not concerned whether he can recite passages from Shakespeare or make complex mathematical calculations. So far as Mr Robin is concerned Man is simply something that turns the soil over to reveal juicy worms for him to eat. In his garden he is not judged, the plants have a survival instinct so that they will grow so long as he does not do anything too drastic to them. There he feels safe, he has a refuge, and he does not have to pretend.
That is something to think about. In God’s garden we can all feel safe for as the Psalmist says in Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.
And leading on from that we remember Jesus’ injunction in Matthew 11:28
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
So then, God loves each of us just as we are, we do not have to pretend to be something different or better than we really are. He cares for us all; His arms are open to receive each and every one of us. Thanks be to God
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time work for a number of years