Dorothy Gurney wrote a verse we often see on garden plaques:
The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God’s heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
We can draw near to God anywhere, in the darkest dungeon imaginable, but there is something about being in God's creation that awakens our sense of wonder and awe.
As my friend Jane and I walked through several woodland gardens on a recent garden club tour, I experienced again how these places may help us draw near to the Lord.
Gurney’s familiar lines come from a longer work entitled “God’s Garden,” the last verse of which is:
For He broke it (God’s heart) for us in a garden
Under the olive-trees
Where the angel of strength was the warden
And the soul of the world found ease.
On the tour, I revisited a home, which I had not seen in years and came to a garden bridge.
Though the bridge has been redesigned in recent times, it was on this wooden span decades ago, my husband “found ease” for his soul when his friend, Jim, prayed with him.
The prayer initiated what is often called a Damascus Road experience. God began bringing healing from the pain and sorrow from the loss of Jerry’s sweet eight year old daughter only two years before, as well as the recent death of his best friend a day earlier. On this bridge, under the spreading oaks and Georgia pines he experienced the benefit of God's broken heart for him as the waters streamed beneath him.
With my friend Jane, whose husband was the man who prayed the prayer with Jerry, I stood for a few moments reflecting on all God has done because of what happened on that bridge. Jerry who was an attorney at the time has been at this point preaching God’s word for more than thirty years.
Jim is now with the Lord and understands more than we do the ripples that have gone out from that one prayer.
“Nearer God’s heart in a garden . . . “
At this house, it has proved true.
Faith in the Fashion District releases August 23, 2018 and has just become available for presell. This story of how one woman's life on Seventh Avenue launched a lifetime in ministry helps you discover how God can use you--in unlikely places.
If you plan on buying the book, it would be a huge blessing if you could purchase it during this presell period. My understanding is you won't be charged until it releases. HERE for presell.