by Christine Sine
Last week, I started working on a new contemplative garden; this one with the theme “Waiting for Love”.
It all began last week when I was thinking about how much hate there is in our world. I was weeping for the Asian American women killed in Atlanta, the huge loss of black lives from violence and brutality, the animosity towards those at the Mexican border trying to come into the U.S. for a better way of life and towards those who have different political or religious views; even towards those who still wear masks. Then there was the shooting in Boulder, Colorado. The list goes on and on and I know that it is not just here in the U.S. that we are experiencing such animosity.
My heart aches, too, for the Christians caught up in this web of hatred and I think of our great God whose love embraces every single one of us. It’s time to love, I thought, and what better time to proclaim and demonstrate that love than at Easter. So I decided to create this new garden. The heart shaped stones create a path to the cross, to the tomb and out into the world. I sprinkled wildflower seed over it and every day eagerly look at my garden to see what has sprouted.
What struck me this morning as I smiled over my garden and the sprouts growing rapidly towards the light, even in some cases pushing up around my stones – I am looking not for signs of death, but of life. Easter is about the incredible love of God, not the death of Christ. That reminded me of two of my favourite gospel passages:
16 For God expressed His love for the world in this way: He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life. 17 Here’s the point. God didn’t send His Son into the world to judge it; instead, He is here to rescue a world headed toward certain destruction.
16 We know what true love looks like because of Jesus. He gave His life for us, and He calls us to give our lives for our brothers and sisters.
17 If a person owns the kinds of things we need to make it in the world but refuses to share with those in need, is it even possible that God’s love lives in him? 18 My little children, don’t just talk about love as an idea or a theory. Make it your true way of life, and live in the pattern of gracious love.
My garden speaks to me of the deep love of the eternal God of our universe who gave a son to live and die so that we might have life, just as my seeds have died and lived again to find life. But that is not where the story ends. Jesus life, death and resurrection gave us an incredible example of what the deep love of God looks like, but asks in return that we don’t just talk about love but that we “make love our true way of life”.
What is your response?
Find something heart shaped to hold in your hand this week, or else, draw a heart on a piece of paper, cut it out and place it in your hand. Reflect on the love of God and the life, death and resurrection of Christ. Now reflect on your own life. What might God be asking you to put to death this week so that you can more fully make love your true way of life in the Easter season?