THE WRITINGS OF RUTH MARTIN
The Preacher's Wife

The Garden of God

Like wild flowers, or exotic hothouse plants or farm produce or whatever..we grow in the soil where we are planted. I guess we absorb and take on some characteristics of the environment where we live , be it country, metro- city, small town, vast plains, desert, mountains, seaside, island or jungle. Each place has it's own unique strengths and weaknesses. So do we. But we have the mental capacity to choose which of these characteristics we will nurture and encourage in our lives. Sometimes we wrongly assume certain traits are present in everyone who lives in a particular place. For instance, a city girl can be just as humble and unassuming, sincere and wholesome, caring and giving, uneffected and genuine as a born-and-bred country girl.

On the other hand, a country girl can be bigoted, self-righteous, critical, snobbish and clan-ish, spiteful, mean spirited, back-biting, and jealous. The truth is , wherever there are people, these characteristics, good and bad, are present . It doesn't really matter where we come from but what we make of ourselves. The real and important question is "Where are we going and who will we take along on our Journey called LIFE?" Will our fellow travelers see godly traits in us or self-centered worldly characteristics?

Personally, I don't care for big cities. (Oh, I like an OCCASIONAL visit but as the old worn-out cliche goes, I wouldn't want to live there..Been there, done that.) I don't like the constant rush and push and hustle and bustle of cities. I don't like the towering concrete and steel jungles, the crush and noise of traffic. I don't like the lack of trust in personal contact where a friendly smile is suspect of inner less desirable motives. However, to millions of people these very things are invigorating and exciting and challenging and that is perfectly ok for them.

I much prefer the more casual, slower paced, less stressful, friendlier and more neighborly smaller communities, towns and cities. I love the openness . I love seeing LOTS of green grass and flowers and big shady trees.

I like having lots of "elbow room " around my home space and territory. I like to feel gentle cool evening breezes flowing about my face.

I dearly love to gaze at a breathtakingly glorious sunset from a high, uncluttered vantage point. I like the UPWARD LOOK.... by day, I like to be able to look up and see bright blue, blue skies with soft white fluffy pillows of clouds floating by. And I feel a special kind of awe when I look up into a silent, vast, immeasurable, star-sprinkled night sky , hosting a high -riding full moon with thin, delicate transparent veils of clouds drifting like whispers across it's gentle face. I like having birds and friendly wild creatures living nearby .

BUT I am not a pioneer woman . I also like living close enough "in" to have access to churches, stores, ( yes, even a mall or two if they are not humongous) restaurants, bookstores, supermarkets..WALMART..

I was looking for some references to gardens in the Bible to use with these thoughts and, surprisingly, I found MANY references .so many, in fact, I won't even attempt to list them.. to "THE GARDEN OF GOD" . (Of course, the first one is in Genesis 2:8."And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden".) I chased a few delightful rabbit tracks into other references to gardens, but that phrase-- THE GARDEN OF GOD. just captured my imagination . How He must have delighted in planting that first perfect, beautiful garden there for the pleasure of Himself and Adam and Eve. As I let my thoughts wander, I recalled the time Clyde was pastor at Olivet Baptist Church in Honolulu, Hawaii. Our church had a wonderful day care/kindergarten and as I was writing this, I suddenly had a vivid recollection of the sweet experience of being at the church during their playtime in the fenced- in playground. Such BEAUTIFUL, HAPPY , GLOWING CHILDREN. I can only describe it as a lovely, living , moving, laughing, flower garden of many colors and varieties of flowers. Remember the little song, "Red and yellow, black and white, They are precious in His sight, etc. etc." I think we had the sweetest representatives of every race represented there. IT WAS WONDERFUL We would stand at the fence and they would all just SWARM toward us, laughing and talking and reaching up for hugs. Faces like living flowers. Young tender blossoms. Just beginning their Life's Journey. Many choices to be made. Many trails to follow.

I think...I know..PEOPLE are God's favorite garden flowers. He has made us all so special..each one of us is a Signed by the Designer one-of-a kind creation. Wherever there are people there is variety . He made us for His pleasure. He planned and planted His Garden and it spreads around the world. Different, but beautiful.; individual, yet blended.

He calls His garden EARTH. Scripture says,"He hath made everything beautiful in His time. "

(Wouldn't you just know it????Satan took a long look at God's lovely garden and came along and planted WEEDS!!!)

allrights.ruthrmartin.6-6-04

WRITINGS OF RUTH MARTIN

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