Last year I wrote a post entitled Tomato Theology that was picked up by Maria on her blog Spiritual Birdwatching. As you know I am quite passionate about what we can learn about faith from the garden – maybe the term garden theology would be better. After all the Bible is full of images of sowing, planting, and harvesting. Even pruning and weeding get a mention. But for me the associations between faith and the garden are even more fundamental – maybe because the first call that God gave to the human race was to look after the garden and make it flourish.
I have mentioned in previous posts that our connection to creation even seems to strengthen our immune systems and protect us from diseases as diverse as ADHD and allergies. The health benefits of blueberries, broccoli, almonds, olives and even chocolate are known to all of us However it is the ways in which the garden revitalizes our spirits that most intrigues me. My husband always says that after I have been for a walk in the garden my face glows and I confess it is not only one of the most energizing experiences I know but for some reason it also makes me feel secure and loved by God to connect in this way.
However it goes deeper than that. I grumble when the harvest is late or less than I expected but take for granted the faithfulness of a God who has created such an incredible variety of luscious flavours for us to savour. And I am overwhelmed by the 50 lb of squash that suddenly appear when the weather warms but I rarely give grateful acknowledgment to the God who provides so lavishly that I must be generous and share with others unless I want to throw away rotten fruit.
The character of God is interwoven throughout creation – faithfulness, generosity, peace, awe inspiring beauty, serenity, security, peace. The list goes on and on all I need to do is to take the time to be aware of the God who is so wonderfully revealed in this way. The Celtic Christians believed that creation was translucent and that the nature of God shone through every aspect of it. As I spend more time in the garden I am beginning to realize what they meant and am aware of how much we urban dwellers miss out on because we spend so little time interacting with God’s good creation