I once stood in a garden shop, my gaze fell upon one of those engraved stones. This one read, "I feel closest to God, whilst in a garden" And I thought to myself, "Well duh, God loves a garden".
He does, you know. He told us all through the Bible.
In the beginning, God created. He created his masterpieces, Adam and then Eve. And where did he place them? In a beautiful garden, He called Eden.
There's another garden. A place where the Lord communed with the Father. The Son cried out and the Father comforted. The Son reached up and the Father reached down. A place where the Father and the Son communed. A place where the angels came and ministered. A place called Gethsemane.
There's yet another garden mentioned. Early one Sunday morning, a woman walked through a garden. Her heart beat heavy in sorrow. She had watched her Lord die on a cross. She watched as He was laid to rest in the tomb, far back in the garden of Joseph. This death had changed the lives of all she knew.
She had not expected anyone to be in the garden so early. Mary joined her as they slowly walked toward the tomb where He lay. How will we roll the stone away from the entrance, they wondered.
But there, they met a man who shone like a noon day sun. His works made her heart beat wildly, not certain whether to be frightened or to dance with joy. They rushed away. The tomb, they found it empty!
As she ran away, she scarcely could breath. When the stranger spoke, she didn't even bother to raise her head. "Why are you still crying? Who do you look for?" He asked.
She didn't want to answer this stranger, this lowly gardener. But perhaps he knew what had happened at the tomb. Her trembling voiced, hoarsely whispered, "Please tell me, where did they take the body of our Lord?"
Then he spoke her name, "Mary." And it was the voice her soul recognized. The same voice that shaped the mountains and the seas. The ageless voice that rang like bells and shook the ground. The earth vibrated in it's joy to hear the voice of the Lamb of God. The voice that comforted children but made the demons quake in fear. Her cry "Lord!" erupted from deep within her.
And there they talked, and they walked. She left the garden, her heart was singing. She looked around in amazement. When did the sun rise over the horizon? When did these flowers begin to bloom" Where did the scent on the breeze come from? When did the birds begin to sing?
I learned the same secrets that Mary learned that day. It is true that God loves a garden. His best moments were spent there.