Growing Outside the Garden

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 10.41.43 AMGenesis 3:23a

 23 the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden  (CEB)
[Scripture taken from the Common English Bible®, CEB® Copyright © 2010, 2011 by Common English Bible.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.]
[Images: by author]

How appropriate…a meditation garden
outside the front door of the retreat center
on the grounds of the monastery
of the Sisters of St. Bemedict

The garden was designed and constructed
as a gift to the Sisters
and it also serves as
a gift for retreatants.

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

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 10.39.50 AMThe surprise was finding a single, small orange flower outside the garden
growing in the gravel beside the short retaining wall that supports 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, a metaphor,
an insistence, a calling
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 ,
indifferent, apathetic, adamantly opposed…
when the “Body of Christ”is too comfortable
with emulating the “world”
to follow the Way of Yeshua,
burdened, crippled by lamenting 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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