Tina Jefferies reflects on how spending time in
gardens might help us connect with God
GARDENS ARE THE CONTEXT FOR MANY EVENTS IN THE BIBLE. Backdrops
to temptation, pain, suffering, joy and celebration, they are
places of intimate encounters with God.
Adam and Eve's temptation to sin is in the Garden of Eden.
Gethsemane is the place Jesus prays alone in his struggle. At
Golgotha, Jesus takes our sins to the cross and is later placed in
the garden tomb. The Gardener comforts Mary Magdalene in her
distress. And as for the final garden, God promises us the
Gardens and nature offer our God-given senses stimuli, reminding
us of our place within creation. All the elements of life, death,
growth and creativity are present. From the tiny insect busying
itself in pursuit of food and shelter, to the vast canopy of tree
and sky above, it's been said that "one is nearer to God in a
garden than anywhere else on earth" (DF Gurney).
Observing butterflies sipping nectar, feeling the silent
strength of the mighty oak, a garden helps us experience deep
spiritual connectivity with the creating hand of God. Like captive
birds released, sorrow, pain, suffering and sin, our humanness is
laid bare and free before silent witnesses. God shows us renewed
perspectives through the trees, plants, birds and insects, "...and
all the trees of the field shall clap their hands" (Isaiah
As we loiter in this mighty narrative, we begin to feel more a
part of the something 'greater than ourselves' environment,
complete yet incomplete. We notice strange paradoxes, new life and
hope; decay and death; change, development and renewal; stillness,
beauty and peace, and relate them to our own inner life journey.
Here we find the Gardener comforts us too.
Stop a while in a garden and...
BE STILL - notice your surroundings, lightly.
LOOK - at its wholeness, beyond, above, before, below.
LISTEN - to the sounds around you, let them drift off into the
BREATHE - the fragrances and fill your body with freshness.
FEEL - warmth on your face, gentle breeze upon your form.
BE - in the moment of the garden, attentive, alert, but relaxed.
Though apart from, you are a part of.
Nature is the quiet place where God does gentle talking! A
prayer of gratitude becomes our natural response.
Tina Jefferies is a Quiet Garden Host and Trustee of the Quiet
A garden prayer
From tiny insignificant, to the majestic and tall,
Lord our God, you have indeed made a garden for us all.
We are truly grateful for your perfectly staged play, of bounty,
beauty, growth, rebirth, and decay.
For the winter chill and dying, for the summer's warmth and life,
all things balance perfectly, the seasons are the spice.
May we work and till, and labour still, with hearts that do not
To propagate your Kingdom, Lord, for love and grace and
In the name of Jesus Christ,
IMAGE QUIET GARDEN MOVEMENT