Practicing the Presence Over Collards

A wave of joy rises as I snip the big collard leaves for supper. Who would have thought an Ohio girl raised on canned green beans and TV dinners could grow her own collards or turn a compost pile into black gold for her garden?

It’s a miracle I can cook fresh veggies, let alone grow them. As I trim the basil for tonight’s pasta, that’s when it hits me: It actually is a minor miracle, a grace supplied to me by God. My Father is grinning while I make a small vase of chive flowers for the kitchen window sill. The chives are taking over here.

The sense of God’s presence continues as I wash the vegetables, and I feel like modern-day Brother Lawrence, the monk who practiced God’s presence as he peeled potatoes.  I am reminded The Creator made  that lush garden grow, from the microbes in the soil to the sun turning young leaves green, He designed it all and He celebrates with me as I tend it.


The first ten years or so of gardening were mostly an epic fail for me. Planting in the spring was great fun, but gnats, heat and ever-encroaching weeds discouraged my always-faltering follow through. By summer, my yard was a sad field indeed.

I am grateful God hasn’t let the gnats in my personality chase Him from tending the garden He started so long ago in my soul. I’m sure He must think He mistakenly planted nothing but century plants there, so slowly is anything to bloom. Fortunately, He’s a forbearing gardener.

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