The small patch of earth smothered in old mulch looked forlorn there in the eastern corner of the garden. “You could make something special with it,” God said. A hungry robin flew in and scratched about, her redbreast a welcomed splash of color against the sea of brown.
“I’ll plant Nicotiana and Verbascum,” I answered.
“I look forward to seeing what you do with it,” God replied.
“I’ll do my best to make it look pretty.”
“I know you will because you are a gardener of the soil. I hope you will be a gardener of your soul, too, so that you make something special out of your life.”
The robin flew away, taking with her the color she had added. “I’ll start tending to it today—the soil and my soul,” I promised.
God smiled, a sweet grin upon His face.
I sat in the garden on a fog-shrouded morning, appreciating the life around me. The birds at the feeder. Snails on their slow crawl across the cobblestones. Earthworms munching through the earth. Bees buzzing about my head.
“I don’t know what you are God, but I love you,” I whispered.
“I know you do, Sparrow,” God replied, and continued doing His work in my garden, showing His love for me.
The day moved slowly toward the horizon. Soon, it would drop below the ridgeline and night’s long shadows would come out of hiding. I sat at the window and watched the clouds cling to the last bit of light. Ever-changing, they altered their shapes, moving slowly across the darkening sky. They paid me no mind, intent upon their duties, calling to the earth’s moisture to rise up and join them.
One, in particular, overtook its neighbors and grew into a menacing tower of white. It moved more slowly than the others, too heavy to be nimble and quick. I grew rather fond of it, cheering it on as it gained in girth. The wind suddenly shifted and the behemoth came apart, long strands of fluff spread out from its center.
It’s silly to be cloud watching, I thought to myself and turned away from the window.
“Don’t go,” God whispered. “Turn back.”
I looked out of the window just in time to see the day’s last exhale paint the clouds a fiery orange.
“The clouds know you are watching them. When you appreciate nature, nature lets me know,” God said with a smile. He lifted His hands and redirected the wind, bringing the big cloud back together again for me to see one last time before it was swallowed by the night.
One by one, the stars came out to play. I sat for a long time and watched them shine, knowing that God appreciated me appreciating them.
“Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
~1 Corinthians 3:16
“God, I’ve got some big decisions to make,” I prayed. “Will you help me?” I asked.
“Of course I’ll help you,” God answered.
“Thank you, I don’t want to figure this out on my own.”
“I’m glad that you are turning to me for answers,” God said. “Most people don’t realize that they have a part of me inside of them so that I am always there to help them. They think that I am some old man up in the sky far away from them. They don’t realize that not only are they in my presence but that they are the presence of me!”
“They are the presence of you?” I asked.
“Yes. Just as electricity becomes evident through the bulb, I become evident through life, through people,” God explained.
I nodded. “Thank you, for working with me to help me make a decision so that I move forward in the right direction,” I said. “And thank you for explaining that we are the presence of you. Remembering that will help me to be more kind and caring to others, for how I treat them is how I treat you.”
“Any time, Sparrow,” God said and rested His hand on my shoulder. “Any time.”
“…all things work together for good..”
Nothing is wasted. Not the mistakes you make. Not the time you spend chasing after dreams that never materialize. Not the diet you fail, the money you lose, or the relationships that end. Nothing. Everything is grist for the mill. God uses all of your experiences to shape you into the person He wants you to be. All you have to do is say “Yes!” to Him and surrender. Trust that all things will work to your good and to God’s glory.