I went on a Quiet Day at Green Pastures in Poole, Dorset, UK this summer. They have a Garden Prayer Walk where we are invited to walk through the garden and stop and reflect/meditate/pray at certain numbered spots. A leaflet gives a Bible verse and suggestions as to what we might do at that place. We are encouraged to use all our senses:-
- to look, look around at the peaceful garden
- to listen, listen to the sound of the waterfall
- to touch, touch the rough bark of a tree
- to smell, smell the crushed leaves of the herbs.
This reminded me of the mindful walks I have had with groups of patients at Woodhaven, the acute mental health unit where I used to nurse.
On returning home, I looked around my own garden, and have started to plan my own prayer walk.
We like holidaying near the Mediterranean, and over the years have planted some Mediterranean plants: a fig tree, a grapevine, and an olive tree – all mentioned in the Bible.
Let me share with you some elements from my garden prayer walk.
Fig tree: Jesus told a parable about a fig tree that bore no fruit. It had borne no fruit for three years. The owner thought it was a waste of space and wanted to cut it down; but the man tending the vineyard wanted to give it another chance. ‘Sir… leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig round it and fertilise it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’ [Luke 13:8,9]
This reminds me that our God is the God of the second chance – and more, He’ll always give us another chance if we turn to Him – that’s what repentance is really about.
My prayer: Thank You, Father, for giving me another chance. Thank You that You still have work for me to do, that just as You reinstated Peter after He denied knowing You, so You allow me to feed Your lambs [John 21:15] by the words I write.
How about you? Do you have a special place in your garden, or around your house, that gives prompts for prayer or meditation?
I’ll be writing more in this series over the next few weeks.