I’ve been MIA from here again. I have a pretty good excuse, I think. I’ve been sick and I’ve been busy trying to start a new business, sewing aprons and little dresses.
There’s been a awful lot of change happening around here too. A lot of upheaval, both positive and negative (yes, you can have positive upheaval too). In short, life had been spinning forward at a high rate of speed and I’m having trouble keeping up.
Today I scrolled through the memories on my facebook page and came across this note I wrote 6 years ago and it struck a real cord with me. I’m feeling the need to let go of my burdens and allow my heart to leap as that of a child again. Given it is the first day of Spring makes it even more appropriate as my thoughts turn toward my garden. (The fact that my seedlings don’t seem to be doing well is one of the burdens on my heart right now.) 😦
I can’t remember what specifically was burdening my heart 6 years ago, but that is not the point. The point is that this song and this experience of 46 years still hold such significance for me. This speaks not only to the song but to the people who loved me enough to include me. This speaks to that young woman who understood that I was important. This speaks to the significance of being Jesus to those around us, no matter the age, race, gender…no matter what. This speaks to letting go of our prejudice and our fears and just lifting each other up.
I just had to share, I couldn’t talk myself out of it. I hope that it reaches out and lifts you up and brings your heart to that youthful joy. I hope you will lift others up today too.
I woke up with this hymn on my mind early this morning, when sleep was once again dangled just out of reach. This hymn is special to me for many reasons. The words alone are comforting, soothing, but for me it is so much more.
As I looked at this song in my Gramps’ old hymnal, I was taken back to being a 6-year-old in church. Many times I would just doodle on my bulletin and wait for it to be over, but I loved the music. Unfortunately the grown ups usually held the hymnals up high where I could not see. Not that I could have read them anyway, right?
But there was a young woman by the name of Miss Hunt went to my church. She was a 1st grade teacher at my school as well and I thought she was just wonderful. I remember very specifically getting to sit with her at church. She would share the hymnal with me, even though I couldn’t read it, she would rest it on the back of the chairs in front of us and she would use her pointer finger to help me follow along. In the Garden was one hymn that I can specifically remember her doing this with. I can still see the red hymnal opened wide and her nicely manicured finger pointing to each word. I loved that song and that experience. She didn’t have to do this, I certainly didn’t ask her to, she just did it. I realize now that she was teaching me so much more than how to read a hymnal.
I also remember going home from church, changing out of my church clothes (we dressed up in those days, but we also had hymnals so you probably already guessed that), and I would go outside and swing as high as I could on my swing set and sing this hymn at the top of my lungs! I’m sure it was painful for my neighbors, but the Good Book says to “make a joyful noise” and by golly, that’s something I could do easily! I would also sing it alone, in my room or the basement and I would dance. It’s a song that truly touched my heart from an early time, a simpler time, where my heart was free and light and could soar to the highest heights. A time where the responsibilities of adulthood and parenthood did not weigh it down.
I crave that feeling today and I know, from the lessons I learned in church as a child, that it is still available to my adult heart if I just turn my burdens over to Him and let Him carry the load. If I just give up my worries to the One who loves me like no other then I can walk with Him and talk with Him and hear the sound of his voice in the garden again. Not so easy to do I’m afraid, but I’m determined to try.
I’m asking my friends who will to join me in prayer today, that my heart may walk in the garden again, as it did when I was a girl. Help my heart give up my burdens so I can know that joy again.
I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.
He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.
I’d stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.
Words and Music by C. Austin Miles , 1912