NEAR TO THE HEART OF GOD The parable of the King’s garden
No one was to
Enter the garden sanctuary, save the king and his attendants.
The front gate was secured, and an
Ancient stone wall surrounded the
Royal grounds. One other person,
the garden keeper, had access to the peaceful enclosure.
There is a place…
It was in that place that new seedlings of
a delicate flowering plant were carefully
Tended. It required all of the gardener’s patience and skill to
ensure that the young plants would come to maturity at the
proper time and would not fail to
Open graceful petals to the first rays of the early summer sun.
All was well, and the plants were thriving, when,
one moonless night, a monstrous
Terrible and cowardly act brought grievous injury and profound suffering
to the sleeping garden. An intruder, the hireling of
a corrupt and envious baron whose lands lay nearby,
climbed unseen over the old stone wall and dropped
Heavily onto the vulnerable flower beds below.
The ignoble trespasser maliciously crushed newly
Emerging shoots and frail yellow tendrils into the damp earth
under his grimy boots.
The noise alerted the King’s guards,
and soon the miscreant was seized and imprisoned.
But the awful damage had been done.
When the slanting rays of morning light revealed
the terrible devastation: The undoing of months of his careful labor,
the gardener’s eyes were filled with grief and unfathomable pain;
but, sadly, not with disbelief. Such destruction had
Happened before…too many times before.
Now, see the gardener again at work.
Each day he bends low to the earth, and
Anoints the broken flowers—the
Rare, priceless, broken flowers—with a
Tincture of a miraculous healing
Oil. Each day he draws from his cloak a small, clay vessel
containing the mingled
Fragrances and resplendent Light of another
of quiet rest…
a garden in the Gardener’s
Own country—and places a drop of the precious elixir onto
the new leaves of the recovering plants.
a place where sin cannot molest…
The faithful Keeper of the King’s gardens knows
the restorative balm is potent, and that one
Day his labors will be rewarded.
One day, the fair blossoms will at last appear,
luminous with the soft glow of a faraway dawn.
near to the heart of God.
© 2011 by Dennis Dale Kemper