The Gardener and the Dirt

After my dear son Shaun past away, I seemed to get a peace about things from working in the garden. My doctor told me that many people do gardening to help deal with grief. What is it about the garden and dirt, at least for me, that gives me a sense of God’s peace and God’s presence?

Could it be because our father Adam was made out of dirt and life breathed into him by God Himself and that after life we all return to the dirt? Or that our bodies are made up of dust and ashes (Gen. 18: 27; Job 30: 19)? Maybe it’s the knowledge of God’s elect rising from the ground to meet Jesus in the sky some day and the plants bursting forth from the earth being a picture of that glorious day. And, now that Shaun has returned to the earth awaiting the rapture, does every plant that peeks through the earth subconsciously remind me that we’ll soon be together. Could God be speaking life into me through the dirt?

Remember Jesus writing in the dirt in John 8 when encountered by the men who were accusing the woman caught in adultery. Was He writing down their names, or the commandments they broke, or simply killing time waiting for them to sleek away? I like what author Julie Barrier wrote about the meaning of Jesus writing in the dirt. She thought it was a fulfillment of the prophecy in Jere. 17: 13 which states, “….all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken The Lord; the spring of living water.” Jesus had just told them in John 7 that He was the fountain of living water and was offering the accusers and the woman the opportunity to have their sins washed away. Unfortunately, only the woman appears to have accepted that offer, the men walked away from real life.

The Bible starts and ends in a garden and for the Parable of the Sower to work, good soil is required. But more importantly, it requires a Loving Gardener. We see a picture of life in the garden and for now, we human plants can’t really differentiate between the wheat and the tares. Thankfully that’s the Gardener’s job. Our role is to bloom where we are planted. And by blooming, we make the garden a more beautiful place to be. And, thanks to the Gardener, some of the tares around us get changed into wheat.

Mason Swinney


About menmourningmoments

I'm happily married, the Father of 2 sons and 2 daughters and 4 beautiful grandchildren. Death is all around us but somehow we've managed to distance ourselves from it. Men, Mourning, Moments is about how the death of my son awakened me to life & the desire to seize every moment as though it were my last. It's about making sense of life in the good times and bad and allowing GOD to carry me and teach me through the hard times in life.
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2 Responses to The Gardener and the Dirt

  1. Amy says:

    I love that gardening is so therapeutic for you Mason. I love gardening because I think it’s one of the few things in this crazy world you can put in hard work and see instant beauty and life 😊.


  2. Right on Amy. I think of you every time I look at my tomato plants. It is all about the beauty of the plants isn’t it. I guess that’s why I prefer to grow flowers over vegetables but don’t tell that to my Marine comrades. I’d be disowned. It’s bad enough that I drive a hybrid.


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