Genesis 2:8-9 – And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (RSV)

My grandfather was a florist and a gardener. As a child, I spent many hours with him in his garden, which was in our backyard.

I recall fondly how he would talk about being in partnership with God. He said God did his part by giving him the land to take care of and the knowledge of how to care for it. My grandfather used what God gave him and chose to do his part by working the land and using the knowledge God gave to him to care for the plants.

By his being in partnership with God, our family members were the recipients of the produce that came from the garden, as were neighbours, friends, and people from our church. My grandfather always made sure my grandmother took items from the garden to church to share with those who did not have a garden. It was his way of giving back to God to thank him for allowing him to be in partnership with him. The garden table in the Fellowship Hall still exists today as a reminder of my grandfather's partnership.

I wonder how we are in partnership with God? What has God given us to take care of? For example, as we deal with children, who have been abused and neglected by those who were to take care of them, and love them, we can see them as the garden God has given us to care for and nurture. And we can pray each day that by using the gifts and talents God has given to us that a difference will be made and other lives will be touched.

Prayer: Dear God, we thank you for the lessons we are able to learn from the example set by saintly parents and grandparents, who cared for the resources you had given to them. Help us to be faithful stewards of all that you give us and servants to those we meet. Amen.

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About the author:

Russ Chamberlain
New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA

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