You who dwell in the garden with friends in attendance,let me hear your voice.
Song of Songs 8:13
I had this blog all worked out before I sat down to write it. It was to be a piece about the lavender shrubs we had planted in our garden. But maybe we’ll come back to it another day because it seemed that someone tapped me on the shoulder and said: “You mentioned those raucous wallflowers shouting their approval from the borders of the garden when Madam Camelia first showed herself in her new pink gown last week. Why don’t you tell people about them?” So here goes.
When my father in law died we were going through a very dark time in our lives. A particularly aggressive form of cancer had taken hold of a most important member of our family. As a result she was unable to be with her father in his last hours on this earth. Ultimately his house had to be sold and life went on as before. However, before the sale we went round his garden to collect some of the seeds of his favourite wallflowers. It is these seeds which now flourish in our garden. Each year they return in their gaudy colours to brighten up what would otherwise be a bare plot of earth but they bring back memories too. Not sad ones but good memories. Yes, those wallflowers remind us of the dark time in our lives but they also remind us of a loving father and a safe family home.
At a particularly difficult time in their journey through the desert the Israelites came to the banks of the River Jordan which they had to cross to get to the Promised Land; they had no idea what awaited them. They felt even worse when Moses told them that he would not go with them. But, he said to them:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV
Many years later in a letter to the Hebrews, the author picks up on this theme when he writes:
‘Do not live for money; be content with what you have, for God has said, “I will never leave you or desert you.” So we can take courage and say “The Lord is my helper, I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6 REB
So the wallflowers remind us that God is always with us, through the dark times as well as the good. He will never leave us or forsake 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