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The birds took refuge from the heat in the nearby oak trees. I should have left the garden and found shade, too, but the okra sprouts desperately needed watering. I wiped the sweat from my brow as I walked to turn on the spigot. “It’s too early for it to be this hot,” I muttered.

A butterfly fluttered by, oblivious to the rising mercury. “Some things like the heat,” God said. “Take tomatoes, for example,” He suggested.

“I know they do. I’m sorry I complained,” I answered and turned the hose on the thirsty sprouts.

“The plants appreciate your love and care, God said gently. “Tending to your garden is loving my creation; it is loving Me,” He explained.

My eyes filled with tears. “I do love you. I love all your creation. I honor you in all living things.”

“I know you do, Sparrow. I feel your love every day, and I thank you for it,” God said softly.

“It’s here, in my garden, where I feel closest to you,” I whispered, suddenly overwhelmed by God’s majesty and mystery.

“I know. I feel your open heart, your childlike awe, every time you open your garden gate.”

“Thank you for the flowers and food I’m growing. Thank you for everything you give us.”

“Even the heat?” God asked.

“Even the heat,” I answered with a smile, then turned my attention to watering the crowder peas, some of which only yesterday had poked their heads above the tender soil to join the garden family.

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