“God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures.” ~ Francis Bacon
This is the time of year, is it not? It’s the time of year when people look toward their yard and consider planting their gardens. Some are elaborate flower gardens. Some are bountiful vegetable gardens. Some are a combination of both. The planting is often very ritualistic. It begins with visits to different garden centers where plants are inspected. They are poked and prodded and even caressed by their would-be gardeners. There is something earthy yet ethereal in the process.
Bishop Andrew G. Grutka, the first bishop of the Diocese of Gary, chose the motto for our diocesan camp, Camp Lawrence. He had signs made to be put up at the entrance of the property that proclaimed “Close to Nature, Close to God.” It is so true.
How often we perk up in the spring when the flowers begin to poke out of the earth and the trees issue their buds that herald flower and leaf. Just last week, I was away on vacation. When I left, the trees in the backyard of the rectory were all bare branches. When I returned five days later, the leaves were all opening on the trees. Reds, oranges, and greens are now backyard sights. When I first walked in to my room upon my return from vacation, the sight of the trees took my breath away.
Yes, God planted that first garden and in all the subsequent years, we have participated in the planting of our gardens as well. They bring us happiness and hope: hope for vibrant colors, hope for sustenance through their fruits and vegetables, and a more spectacular hope in returning to God, our grand gardener, at the end of our days.
As we continue our Easter season, let us open our eyes wide to all the glory of God around us.
FAITH ACTION: Take time to thank God for all the things in your life that bring you joy.