This spring and summer, I’ve not been a good steward of our yard and garden. That’s not my usual approach to gardening or caring for creation. But it happened.
You can imagine the results over time. Cold and rainy weather? Most of the garden got planted late and is developing about a month behind its normal schedule. Inattention to weeding? The flower and vegetable beds now include previously unwelcome varieties of greenery that are plant-jostling for their place in the sun. Tidy paths and borders? Unreplenished and untrimmed, wood chip trails now feature as many weeds as wood chips. Heaps of plant detritus? Piles of brush and twigs wait for disposal. The prairie jungle? Tiny saplings, branches, fast-growing vines, wild grasses and mystery foliage grow freely wherever they please, comprising a greater share of our property than in many years.
But there’s grace in all of this, too. Evidence of God’s creating hand shows up in ways that don’t depend on what I think should comprise responsible gardening. A diverse smattering of volunteer flowers pops up in places I never planted, mixed in among the original residents—pleasantly surprising when they bloom. The zinnias—late, but sturdy—crowd together to shut out weeds of any kind. Rustling prairie grasses stand tall next to the spent stalks I never removed from last year. Virtually ignored for weeks, lettuce seeds have performed reliably—offering bounties of mealtime greens. Animals and birds welcome this patch of land as something special—its natural allure regained—and act out their creature-dramas each day. The grand wildness of the yard reminds me that, at this stage in life, tidiness is not necessarily the highest virtue.
And best of all, this garden grace comes *“indeed, without our prayer.” So I will remain amazed and grateful….
*From Martin Luther’s Explanation of the Lord’s Prayer. He includes this phrase over and over again as a reminder that whatever God grants to us comes by grace. Forgiveness and salvation included.
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