Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;
and yet I say to you,
even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Luke 12: 27 NKJV
I long for lingering moments in contemplation of the glories of Creation and the goodness of God. Such desires informed the development of the Thinking Tree Garden in my Fable Springs Parables book series. (Illustration by Noah Berge.)
Note the welcoming padded wicker chair under the willow at the end of a stone path bordered by colorful impatiens. I am impatient to steal away to such a place and consider the lilies.
I take some 19th century story-spinners with me–a handful of my favorites. They were no strangers to the glories of the garden and the face of God discovered there. This truth revolutionized the life of George MacDonald, releasing a flood of stories and sermons in an attempt to describe the sublime nature of the character of God.
Even the stoic Sherlock Holmes, ruminating the virtues of a rose, concludes the goodness of Providence through the pen of Arthur Conan Doyle. God’s character is discerned from the clues cloistered within the excellence and beauty of rose petals.
Dear Jane might escape to the gardens at Chawton House to soak in the green landscape surrounds. Her caretaking chores for Mother, household duties, and manuscript writing was fed by the growing things in her home park. Even in town, the 19th century artist was fed by God’s Creation in nature. Miss Austen’s novels evoke the simple pleasures of a time when everyone lived closer to the earth and most drew solace in trial from a rudimentary Christian faith. The garden was a comforting place to seek the heart of God and be refreshed.
Even Dickens, whose depictions of the social injustices rampant in his day, and in the cities, retires to a garden landscape. There light is greater than dark, and flowers know how to absorb the nutrients of this heaven sent blessing. No other 19th century writer contrasts the contrary qualities of dark and light so dramatically, leaving profound scars of persuasion on the mind and heart.
I’m taking joy this spring in the roses and wildflowers bursting forth in my own cottage garden. They remind me of the commonplaces I share with much admired writers of old. Truly, there is nothing new under the sun.
God shares Himself liberally in every generation: In its season, seeds breaking through the dark of the ground, reaching up for the light, blossoming into new life as florals, fruits, and food. Even this greatest of gospel truths is evident . . . to those with ears to hear and eyes to see.
And . . . a desire to grow into greater things.
Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you,
unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed.
But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it,
while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
Journal Prompt: How is your life like a seed fallen to the ground? What kind of flower have you blossomed into because you dared to be a seed fallen to the ground . . .
Sharing When Writers Consider the Lilies this week with: