Cups and Gardens

it is finishedI love flowers.  I think that’s why I always get vivid images in my head when I read the Bible stories that take place in gardens.  Life began in a garden after all. However, on Good Friday, we remember that a life began to end in a garden.  That ending was all for us.  Eden to Gethsemane, light to darkness, life to death.  We should know better than to fear, though, because as Jesus’ life began to draw to a close, a greater power than death began to stir – the promise of our Savior.

On your own walk through life you have probably seen glimpses of Eden, but more than likely, you’ve spent your fair share of time in your personal version of Gethsemane.  I know I have.  That particular garden is far less perfect, far emptier than Eden would be.  The flowers I picture in Gethsemane are wilting and thirsting for life, their death seems imminent on the verge of a spiritual frost.  As Jesus calls out to Abba, begging that the cup may pass from Him, I find comfort in His power to say “not my will but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)

As we know, Jesus willing accepted the cup He was given.  His sensitivity to the needs of us fallen humans gives me the courage to fully submit to the will of His father and accept the cup that I have been given.  How awesome it is that the Messiah, our Lord and Savior, has blessed us with gifts that He also exemplified.  As women, the gift of sensitivity enables us to love in a way the world is hungry for.  We all have the capability to be hyper-aware of the needs of those around us, and reach out to them with our nurturing feminine nature.

We can use that sensitivity to help the Creator in the garden of humanity with the wilting souls we find there.  Just as Veronica wiped the face of Jesus with her outstretched arm, we are able to outreach to even the thirstiest of flowers.  Our kindness, our embrace, the warmth of our souls – all these are traits that allow us to partake in the work of the garden and heed off the frost that pain and despair can cause.

Each and every one of us has, at some point in our lives, been handed a cup we would rather pass.  The beauty in accepting the refining fire of the Lord is that we do not have to partake in our personal cup alone.  Jesus, while despised and rejected by some, was also loved and cared for my many; because we all walk the same path, our understanding hearts spring to action when we see a need in another.  Think of how beautiful a garden the world can become if we all accept our gift of sensitivity and begin to help each other grow towards the beauty of the Son.

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