Growing Outside The Meditation Garden

Matthew 6:30-36

30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. [NRSV]

“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. [MSG]

[Scripture quotations are from:  New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved    and      Peterson, Eugene H. The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2002]

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How appropriate…

a meditation garden

outside the front door

of the retreat center



on the grounds of the monastery

of the Sisters of St. Benedict

The garden was designed and constructed

as a gift to the Sisters

and it also serves as

a gift for retreatants

such as me

Lush green leafy plants

each having its own space

not being crowded

or crowding others

and a cluster of Salvia ‘Caradonna’

purple meadow sage

as beautiful, serene and peaceful

as you would expect

a meditation garden to be

The surprise was finding

a single, small orange flower

outside the garden

growing in the gravel

beside the short retaining wall

supporting the garden

Was it from    a stray seed from the garden

a remnant of that which had been there before

the residue from a bird dropping

or …?

whatever the reason

it was there in all its glory

like the lilies of the field

it too would neither toil, nor spin

it too would be a testament

to the vitality of life

to the insistence

      and the persistence

of an unheard inner calling

The indefatigable persistence

of that single orange flower…

to BE, in all its glory,

outside the meditation garden

     has become a challenge




to me

I don’t fit the norm of  the meditation garden

the church

(the institutional church)

I am a remnant of that which had been planted previously

in the meditation garden

I am evidence of some bad/good preparation

prepared   to understand the basic theological concepts

and also for thinking new thoughts

to perpetuate the institution

and also for challenging old assertions

to exegete the scriptures

and also to listen for the authentic teachings of Yeshua

to live a ‘Christian’ life

and also for the insurrection that is the Way

to accommodate this world

and also for pre-saging the Commonwealth of Peace and Justice

It is a formidable challenge

to maintain the “and also”

when the meditation garden is disinterested



adamantly opposed

when the “Body of Christ”

is too comfortable with emulating the “world”

to follow the Way of Yeshua

burdened, crippled by mourning that its

power and prestige have been thwarted

by a secular society

Taking root outside the meditation garden

is  a mournful lament

an anguished, tearful cry

and a life-bearing protest

a migration toward integrity

an insistent calling

“Here I stand, in God,

I can do no other!”



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