“For the beauty of the earth, For the glory of the skies, For the love which from our birth, Over and around us lies; Christ, Our God, to Thee we raise, This our sacrifice of praise” – Folliot Pierpoint
When Folliot Pierpoint wrote this poem, it was springtime. It said in the book Then Sings My Soul by Robert Morgan, that Folliot was “overwhelmed with God’s creative brilliance” as he was out walking through the countryside. Imagine being so taken with the beauty of the world around you that you rush to write down your feelings. It is surprising how many songs started out as poems of praise. (The poem eventually became a song more associated with Thanksgiving)
Sitting out in the garden this morning, I marveled at how much my yard was changing day by day. A new flower blooms, a new kind of bird shows up at the feeder, tiny red tomatoes peak out from under the leaves of my container garden (finally!). The grass looks like a green carpet instead of a brown throw rug. I find myself kicking my shoes off and walking barefoot across it, reminding myself of those carefree younger times.
It seems that gardens are much on people’s minds these days. Not just figuratively but literally as well. This time of year our thoughts are drawn to planting, sowing, cleaning. We are tired of winter, tired of the grays and browns. Our hearts soar with new found joy as we the earth shakes off her old worn coat, adorning herself with beauty and grace. It seems that new life is bursting out all around us.
I love to open a new bag of potting soil, savoring the earthy aroma, feeling the coolness of the dirt between my fingers. I plant flowers in every conceivable container, filling my yard with every kind of blossom I can find. I know that the garden center just loves to see me coming in the door. “There is that crazy plant killer” they whisper to each other. (They always smile anyway and point me toward the cactus)But even if it is for a few weeks, I get to have my garden look like something out of a magazine.
I will take a moment here to tell you that sweetheart had the back yard sodded before he left town. It is my responsibility to make sure it gets watered and stays alive. I can tell you that I see nothing good coming out of this entire situation. But I faithfully get up early and feed the lawn, even before I feed myself. It’s too bad the grass doesn’t drink coffee. Then we would have a lawn fit for publication!
I think that God gives us Spring to remind us that new life always springs up where it seemed all was dead. When we scrape away the covering of rotted leaves, broken sticks, and diseased grass, there is beautiful rich soil underneath just give new life to seeds and plants. With the lengthening of the days, we get to see more of the sun, feel more of the warmth. When the icy coldness melts away (ok, well not here in Texas but you know what I mean) there is sparkling water to wash things clean.
The Bible reminds us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that “anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” How glorious these words are to someone like me who lived so long in a cold, dreary winter of life. Because Christ stepped out of a dark tomb on the spring morning, bringing color and light back into the world, I get to experience springtime every day.That is such an amazing thought!
Dearest Abba, thank You so much for this time of year. Thank You for the new that greets me every morning. Thank You for the garden of life You let me walk through. Remind me to decorate my heart and my life as well as my garden. Help me to remember to walk with you through the garden every day, rejoicing in the beauty of Your earth and sky. In the name of Christ Jesus, Amen