Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Gardner

By Carl M. Namahoe

My name is “Lilly” and I’d like to welcome you to my home. During my younger days, I was wild. I had no boundaries; no directions and no accountability. I did whatever I wanted. Most of the time I rose early with the sun and there were days when I never slept; days when I lost track of time. My choice of friendly acquaintances was less then desirable as they often choked the life out of me. I was dying on the vine and didn’t know it or should I say, refused to admit it.
Then one day, while soaking up some rays, I heard what sounded like rain drops striking nearby leaves in a rhythmical tune. Slowly it became louder and louder. I fine tuned my senses and searched the air for the creator of this wonderful sound. I’ve experienced this tune before and it always brought joy and contentment to some. But to others like me, who over the years desired to be chosen, and weren’t; it brought sadness, disappointment and sometimes death.
But today…I am one of the chosen.  Albeit, I’m the last one…none the less…I was chosen.  I am so happy!
I don’t know why he chose me but I’m glad he did. Getting me to move was difficult, and as he started working, that beautiful rhythmical sound returned. Before long I was moved, transplanted and in his care. For the first time in my life I had a reason to survive. I was free, albeit limited only to areas that provided growth; not because I wasn’t allowed, but because I wasn’t ready. In my youth, I developed and nurtured many bad habits that hindered my life. I noticed as they were pruned from me, I felt lighter as if a burden was lifted. He diligently worked with me for a long time. Then one day he stopped; wiped the sweat from his brow, smiled and said…”It is finish.” He gathered his tools and as he left that rhythmical sound returned; only to slowly fade away.
It’s been a while since his last visit, at least a week or so. Sometimes I can faintly hear that joyous sound and I strain to get a glimpse of him; to no avail. I wonder if he’s ever coming back.
Well I’ve been here for more than a month now and I’ve made a few friends. One in particular is Rose. She and I have become close and shared past experiences. Rose shared that she had many struggles in her life. Seeking and finding food was difficult. She spent days searching for good water and many times settled for water that was filthy but thirst was too great and she drank. She said she was so happy when he came for her. In his care she blossomed and never wanted for anything and he always gave her clean refreshing cool water. She was on her death bed and he revived her and gave her a reason to live.
Suddenly, we heard that beautiful rhythmical sound and we perked up and turned our faces toward the sun. The sound increased and we anxiously awaited his arrival. We both saw him at the same time and acted like two school girls out on their first date. There he is with tools in hand, coming to care for us…oh happy days!
Smiling he did something he’d never done before…he began to speak to us! “Good morning ladies and how are you today?” “It’s time for your grooming. I’m going to give you a trim and when done…you are going to be more beautiful then you are now…if that’s possible.”
 Rose is first and he worked his magic on her, not that she needed it, and when done she is absolutely beautiful. I’m next and I’m putty in his hands. He skillfully addressed all my problems and before long I am…stone gorgeous!
He took a step back, looked at Rose and me; and said one word…BEAUTIFUL! We both agreed.
He turned and walked away, leaving us to wonder where is he going? We noticed he didn’t take his tools and he always took his tools. Suddenly we heard that beautiful rhythmical sound and it’s coming toward us. He returned carrying a bench and placed it in front of us. He slowly settled in and sought a comfortable position. Rose and I are curious as he has never done this before…at least not to us. What’s he up to? Did he groom us to get rid of us? Why would he do that? This is so unfair! Rose and I stared at each other like two wall flowers at a Sadie Hawkins dance.

He smiled, but our expressions are less then pleasant; if looks could kill he’d be dead.
Slowly and with compassion he began to speak; “Ladies you are two of the most beautiful creations of God. As instructed, I searched for and found you. You were in need of much care and it was my responsibility to prepare you for His garden.
In your youth you attracted many undesirables who suppressed your life. They stole the food and nutrients meant for you. You had no training and thus knew not your limits and ventured where you shouldn’t have. He sent me to move; transplant and care for you as He heard your cries.”
I am His gardener and care for all the plants and trees in His garden. He is…”The Vinedresser.” He trims and grooms His vine.  You two were in need of much pruning. Your branches and leaves were full of pest and parasites that kept you from growing. Like you, man refused His boundaries and chose reckless living. Eventually his image and likeness was not as it was in the beginning. Like you, man must turn his face to the Son, then “The Vinedresser” will hear, transplant… and groom him.

-to be continued-

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