Planting an Easter Garden was one of my favorite projects of 2011 for a couple reasons. For one, most importantly, it taught my children about the true meaning of Easter. It walked us through the details, cementing truth into their little hearts through the visuals. Second, I actually love that our garden eventually fell into disarray - some plants died, the succulents got messy, and dead leaves covered the surface of our once-dreamy mini garden. I love that this year, we get to recreate it all over again.
But I do want to share with you my original post. The pictures represent it really well, still, and I link to the ones from whom I got the idea in the first place. Please enjoy, and please let me know if you plant an Easter Garden this year. When we recreate ours, I'll be sure to share it with you as well. Now, check out our garden from last spring.
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Last week, I tasted a bit of the holy.
Not often do we get those chances in life. But I tried a project, and it became so much more.
It's shocking that all I did was make one choice to step out. Try something new. A lot of times, my ideas don't work. They don't flesh out like I imagined. People are whining, hungry, fighting...you get the idea. Not exactly what was pictured on the magazine page where everyone is sitting so...very...still.
But on occasion, an idea becomes out-of-the-blue magical.
On one of my new favorite blogs, Contented Sparrow, I saw this idea for making an Easter Garden. Lo and behold, Megan lifted it from my favoritest Ann at A Holy Experience and this post from 2009. Ann called it a visual parable. I was mesmerized.
And my giant giant giant pot was empty.
After school pickup, we drove straight to the garden store. It was sprinkling, but under the umbrella, I had two helpers fluttering with excitement about making our garden. Everyone got to choose some miniature plants. Everyone anticipated the planting of something special.
Creating with hands in fresh soil brought focus, life coursing through little plants brought gentleness. Even the rock path was laid carefully.
Truth-planting and life planting all at once. All life hinging on truth. Life sustained by the very breath of truth.
"I am the way, the truth, and the life."
At first it seems that the way leads to emptiness. A tomb lies hungry for death. A prickly cactus at the end of the path reminds us of pain, the so very great cost.
But water in our pond reflects hope.
“If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” John 4:10
The garden awaits.
On Palm Sunday, we'll read the greatest story every told, we'll light candles along the rock path, and wait for Him, eager and burdened with a debt we cannot pay.
On Good Friday, the candles will not be lit. We'll read about the darkness and the earthquake. And His words.
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Jesus will be wrapped in a cloth and laid in the tomb. Men will stand guard, as if they could contain Life. Saturday too the path stays dark.
But Sunday, Easter Sunday, now that day makes all the difference.
The stone will be rolled away.
The cloth will lie vacant.
And we will celebrate freedom.
Looking at our Easter Garden every day as I walk past makes me long for Him. The empty scene is merely a reminder of my empty condition without Him. But a promise is also rooting deep.
For the next month, we'll watch the thyme and succulents grow, and feel the promise of Life swell within our hearts.
"For God loved the world so much that He gave..."