In The Garden

Saturday, April 19, 2014
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Can A Little Child Like Me"1 (Lyrics)

John 20:15-16 – "Woman," [Jesus] said, "why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?" Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him." Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher). (NIV)

One day last year, while my husband and I were sitting in the lounge at the cancer centre, one of the patients started playing the piano. That day, I was a little apprehensive since we were waiting to hear the results of my husband's CT scan. Yet as I listened to the woman play, I felt a sense of peace that everything was going to be all right. Almost immediately, I recognized the tune—a popular hymn called, In the Garden by C. Austin Miles. Although I had sung it many times before, somehow this was different—like the music had been sent from heaven and was delivered especially to me.

Later that day, with curiosity, I searched the Internet for some historical data associated with this beautiful song, written in 1912. What I learned was an amazing story. Apparently, the author, an amateur photographer, was in his darkroom waiting for the film to develop when he had an unusual vision depicting the scene in today's Scripture. He described the event in these words: "I seemed to be a part of the scene. I became a silent witness to that dramatic moment in Mary's life when she knelt before her Lord and cried, "Rabboni!"

Regarding his experience, C. Austin Miles goes on to say, "I awakened in full light, gripping the Bible, with muscles tense and nerves vibrating. Under the inspiration of this vision, I wrote as quickly as the words could be formed the poem exactly as it has since appeared. That same evening I wrote the music." After reading this wonderful testimony, I wondered if the writer of this hymn had any idea how his vision of the garden would inspire believers for generations to come.

Now, imagine yourself at the scene of the resurrection watching the incredible reunion between Mary and her risen Lord. How would you describe this wonderful event? Listen to the Master's voice. In what ways has He commissioned you to use your gifts such as writing, music, and verbal skills to communicate what you have seen and heard?

Prayer: Shine, O Lord, Your light in every dark room of our lives. Grant us the vision to see and hear what Mary experienced in the garden on the first morning of Your resurrection. Bless our hearts with songs of praise as we, too, share in the glory of our risen Saviour. Use the testimonies of all who believe so that others may know that He lives. In Jesus' precious name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lori Ciccanti <>
Ocean View, Delaware, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good thoughts Lori.

    Thank you as always your devotional strike a chord with me.

    Thank you Lori I really enjoyed and was touched by your devotional.

    What a blessing!
    Thank you.

    Amen, indeed.
    Blessings to you and yours, Lori.

    Thanks for a good word today Lori. I did not know the history of this wonderful hymn!

    Lori, I come to the garden alone. I heard the music in my mind as I read your devotional. Thank you for sharing, my friend. Have a joyous and blessed Easter. Blessings.

    Thank you for your writing today, this account in John’s Gospel is the version that always moved me the most at this special time of year. It was uplifting to read it. May your husband and yourself enjoy good health and have many blessings at this Easter time and the years ahead.

    Thank you, Lori.
    This is lovely.
    I felt that I was there too — within the Spirit of the Risen One, our Lord. He allows us to speak to him — and asks us to do so.
    Keep writing.

    I enjoyed your devotional beyond words today. Singing my heart out with that beautiful old hymn. The music is always one part I look forward to. Today’s made me so grateful for my long time exposure to hymns. What a wonderful surprise to see you were the author of yet, another meaningful lesson.
    How gifted you are!

    Dear Lori,
    What a beautiful telling of how “In the Garden” was written; It was one of my father’s favorite hymns. I often use the hymns as a basis for my time of worship with Him. Thanks for researching and sharing this story. Yes, it is in times when alone with Him that He reveals His plan for our lives. May you and yours have a blessed Resurrection Sunday celebration.

    Dear Lori
    Your devotional today brought a flood of memories to me as that hymn was a favorite of my Father. As a teenager, my brother was saved through a classmate friend. He then invited my Dad to transport a group of teenagers to a weekend retreat. It was there that my Dad heard the gospel, was saved, and came home with a deep love for this hymn. That year my entire family accepted Christ.
    I am grateful for the testimony and all the memories I enjoy once again.

    I love the song “I come to the garden alone.” I am able to go to the keyboard and play any song that comes to my mind. I am over 80 and so often I thought I was depressed, but I heard a message on that it often, isn’t depression but loneliness. Yes that is what it is.
    I really enjoy these messages from this site.

    Your devotional brought goose bumps, plus a rush of energy as I read your closing prayer. I can attest that having read many of your devotionals, all so far are touching to me and come just in time to answer a question, bump me back on my path or awaken a subdued thought.
    Again, many thanks for all you contribute to me and my fellow readers. I sincerely wish you and your family a wonderful day.
    Enjoy your tonight and EASTER.

    Dear Lori!
    That sounded like “Grace Notes” to me.

    Thank you for your devotional and thank you especially for your prayer.
    Keep writing and may our Lord richly bless you as you are used to bless others.

    Thanks for your devotional which has inspired me in my reflections for Easter Sunday sermon! Following up on the lyrics led me to other songs of the same title by van Morrison and Bob Dylan – so the musings of a photographer have inspired others to reflect on the Easter story and find resonances with their own. Blessings.

    Hi Lori,
    The scene of the Garden Tomb. That was such a wonderful experience for us at the time. After having seen all the Churches built over certain sites the garden was such a peaceful experience.
    Thank you for your wonderful words.

    Thank you Lori. This was my Grandma’s favorite song. Beautiful devotional.

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