You may have seen me weeding in the church garden and wondered, "What is Pastor Jean doing there? That's not her job!"
I have my reasons.
The most basic reason is it needs to be done. And in doing what needs to be done, I get to follow in the footsteps of our Savior. If Jesus saw a need, he responded to that need. Do you remember when Jesus healed the blind man on the Sabbath? What did the Pharisees and Sadducees think? He should be preaching on the Sabbath, not "working." But Jesus saw a need, he responded with compassion, and he healed the blind man. If we have the humility of Christ, who left his heavenly home to save the likes of us, then no job is beneath us if it needs to be done.
Another reason I like to work in the church garden is it gives me a chance to count my blessings. Whenever I am weeding, I am astounded at how fertile the Garden State is. God provides an abundance of sunshine and rain, warmth and nutrients in our corner of the world, so that we are showered with bumper crops practically every year. I also think about what a privilege it is to be able to do this work. In 3 weeks I will turn 60 years old, yet all my parts are still working pretty well! I can kneel to pull out weeds. I can see the beauty all around me. I can smell the flowers and hear the birds (not as well as I used to, but I can still do it!). I can taste the produce that comes from the earth. When you consider all the things God had to do to make this world a paradise of beauty and a cornucopia of abundance it is awesome, in the classic sense of the word.
But the most important reason I like to weed the church flower beds is because it allows me to honor God. The Psalmist wrote, "A day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than live in the tents of wickedness" (Psalm 84:10). The church is the house of God and deserves loving care. There is nowhere on earth I would rather be. To be on my knees in the Prayer Garden is about as close to heaven as I am going to get.
As Dorothy Frances Gurney puts it:
Kiss of the sun for pardon.
Song of the birds for mirth.
You're closer to God's heart in a garden
Than any place on earth.