Do you ever just sit in a peaceful place and contemplate the greatness of our creator- God? He has entrusted us with this world as a dwelling place for life on earth.

In our lessons from the garden, I will often compare life in the garden to a song, to a beautiful symphony of music. Our lives are much that way, our journey in life is like a song. The question is, will our song be full of moving rhythms, amazing harmonies, and memorable stories, or will our song be full of dissonance and noise? Dissonance is a clash and tension of noise that just does not fit in with the song. Dissonance always seems to creep in. God can take dissonance in our lives and bring the clash noises into harmony. In our garden we so enjoy the song and seek to live in harmony with each creature, each plant and even the soil. I believe it makes God smile when we seek harmony in the garden.

I like to play the in dirt. I just love the sweet smell of good soil! My four-year-old grandson, Kieran, I often call him, “little guy”, helps me turn leaves and cuttings of grass into nourishing soil for the flowers and plants. He loves to help with the compost bin. Good soil sets a beautiful foundation to the song of the garden. It is so fun to play in the dirt!

I love to walk in the rain. We save the rain. I call it, “God’s water”. We save it in rain barrels to help nourish the flowers, the vines and every plant, large and small. We delight in helping them thrive and bloom. Oh, the glory that rings out from the flowers that bloom in the song of the garden. And often, as the song builds, I dance in the rain. Don’t you want to dance in the rain?

Let me add that sometimes the rain is the beginning of the dissonance that can creep into the song with its sometimes-high winds and the volume of water that floods the garden. The clash and tension of the rain is often noise in the song. But you know, God has a way of transforming dissonance into a melody line, even in the garden of our own lives. I seek to learn from those times to allow them to help me prepare for their return. Because they will return. A little dissonance seems to always creep in. But we just keep singing the song of the garden, walking with Jesus and singing new melodies that bring joy and harmony to this wondrous place.

Sometimes I feel like Saint Francis of Assisi in a funny way. He would walk through his garden preaching to the birds and the trees. I leave small mounds of seed in special places for our feathered and furry friends every morning. They forage throughout the day, and in the early night as they fly and scamper about on the ground and in the trees. Their songs, their calls, and even the flutter of their wings, add sweet harmonies to the song that starts building in the garden. I think Saint Francis would be proud. I, too, read the Psalms to all that will listen in the early mornings. And do you know what, an audience always joins me one by one. Oh, the beauty of the song of the garden. I think he would smile and say, “Preach it, brother!”

My sweet wife, Kelly, delights in nurturing our Monarch caterpillars and butterflies and others that flitter in and out. I love walking quietly in the garden as she gently inspects every milkweed, every pipe vine, and every passionflower in the garden. She searches for eggs, keeping a watchful eye on every little caterpillar as they go through their stages before they emerge in glory. She and these butterflies add rich tones of rhythm and harmony to the song of the garden as it builds and swells over time. I call her the butterfly whisperer, my sweet Kelly.

So, if I sit quietly in my garden and listen to the song, if I become a part of the song, I become a part of the beautiful harmony, the harmony that dances through the air and sails in the breeze. A dragonfly suddenly lands on a salvia flower and dances to the song of the garden. Does he hear what I hear? Harmony is such a delightful sound.

Let the song of the garden fill your soul. Sit in your peaceful place, your yard, a park, or your garden, and contemplate your role in creating harmony in what God has placed in your life. There is a beauty in recognizing dissonance, the noises that often creep in, and there is a glory and a blessing to hold on to and also to share as the dissonance transforms into the rich harmonies heard in the song of the garden. Be the blessing. Walk with Jesus and sing the song of the garden.

“Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!” ~~Psalm 95:1-2

~~By Jan Puterbaugh, associate pastor