The Garden

A plant in a garden, happily growing, doing what it thinks the Gardener would have it do…

A cold winter morning, and the plant is uprooted. Laid outside the garden gate…

But there’s a new part of the garden, a part that the plant had known of, had lent its voice to, something wonderful – a dream for the future the plant, like others, was looking forward to. And even though the plant lay outside the garden wall, it managed to find a place to put down temporary roots. To find a place to live.

And in limited plant knowledge, it had believed that it was just awaiting transplanting. That when the new part of the garden opened – the dream come to fruition at last – that it would be transplanted. To feel the joy of being part of something new.

The plant did not see the reality all around it. It missed the point totally.

And so, the day came. The new part of the garden opened. And finally, the dense, stupid plant saw what it had ignored or simply hadn’t realized for so long…

This was no transplanting place, holding plants waiting for their new place. This was the rubbish heap. For the new place to be, the weeds had to be removed. The plant was a weed, and had to go. Reality settles in like a crushing blow, as the plant realizes its fate. There is no future here – only past.

Now, we know that the God of All Comfort has a way of redeeming weeds. He uproots them, prunes them down to the ground, and places them in a new plot of ground. So it is with this weed. But all the weed can see right now is the view of the new garden – the dream that will not be, and the place it will not have in it. The plant cannot see that it’s no longer on the rubbish heap… that it’s in a new place, waiting to be reborn. All it can see at the moment is what was, and will never be again. There is hope, but it is clouded by memories and incrimination… Could I have grown bigger, better? Could I have done something different, so that I could have stayed, instead of being uprooted and tossed out with the trash? Where did I fail? How did I fail? I’m a worthless plant, only fit for the garbage. The voice of the accuser can be loud and persuasive indeed…

And the Gardener knows that the time isn’t right yet. The plant has some growing to do before it sees the new place, and can know its part in it. There’s no way to tell the plant to wait – it’ll be all right. All the plant knows is loss, and seeing the new garden without being a part of it.

Lord of plants and weeds, have mercy on me, a weed… waiting to grow… hoping to change… wanting to believe that You have a plan, but only able to see the new garden, and that I have no place in it. Only feeling the sting of failure – a weed, cast out so the garden could grow. Mercy, oh Father of All, and help me to see You. You care. You are there. You are not silent.

Kyrie eleison… Christe eleison… Kyrie eleison…

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