The Garden...

Christianity is my paradigm. It's the garden my heart has been planted in. I know of many other gardens in countless other neighborhoods. We all share the same landscape, yet the flowers that bloom from our ground are often very different in color, size, beauty and shape. From a distance, most of them are beautiful to my eyes, but I am planted here. The earth I grow from is good and clean and healthy, and that is the Truth I need to stay alive and justify my plot of land.

When my garden looks sick or whithered, I don't think to uproot myself and my fellow flowers and replant them in another patch of earth. Instead, I try to tend to the other plants, where they are, watering them, fertilizing them, pruning them when necessary. Often, they do the same for me.

Some of the edges of the gardens have no defined borders, and in the wildness grow both malicious weeds that twist themselves around the other flowers, and exotic blossoms so mysterious and beautiful I think I cannot speak to give their petals justice.

Other edges are fenced in, and often some of the flowers in my garden try to grow between the lattice of those fences. Sometimes they are vicious, becoming weeds and vines that choke life from flowers in the other gardens. Sometimes, though, their own follage compliments the other gardens', revitalizes their earth and adds color and vibrancy that long-ago faded.

When flowers from other gardens begin to grow in my own plot of land, I hope they will gently compliment. It is sad when beautiful, gentle, alien flowers are choked and squeezed out as they try to blossom in my patch.

Objectively, I cannot truly know which garden is most beautiful. My vantage is not that high, and I cannot see things as they truly appear from the sky. I know that I love the one garden I am in, and am dedicated, above all, to its health and beauty. I see the disease on the leaves of my own brother and sister-flowers, and the whithered blossoms on the stalks of others. I tend where I can, and pray the Gentle Gardener lends a caring, skillful hand to revitalize our struggling plot of land.

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