I was saddened as I passed a garden recently. It was the garden of a friend now gone to seed. I remembered how beautiful it had been and the care taken. It had been tendered with love and attention, watered and trimmed and the bushes and flowers held their heads up high, proud to be seen and offer their fragrance and beauty to passersby.

But the time had passed and neglect had set in. The owner had moved and the garden once so vibrant had turned to decay. I watched as leaves swirled around, where dust collected on the furniture and the hose had been disconnected. Water had not been seen there in many weeks. It looked forlorn and desolate and I longed to see it in its prime once more. It had been such an inspiration.

I thought of going in myself and taking up the task of caring. I had the time and the inclination. It would not have taken that much effort. And it would have been restored to its former glory. Yes, I could have done that except the premises were gated and locked. My friend was not returning. And I hadn’t been asked. So I refrained.

What a shame for such a beautiful scene to pass. I wondered if others noticed or cared. Or was it only I who had this overwhelming feeling of sorrow. Life had taken an unexpected turn and left two empty places. My friend and the garden were both gone.

What was the lesson? Or was there a lesson? I meditated on this and felt there was. It was of such importance that I was not sure how I missed it. And I looked at my soul and reckoned it to be my garden and wondered from above how it looked to my Lord. Was I tending it carefully? Was I nurturing it properly? Was I giving it the attention it needed so that others could see in me a reflection of my Lord?

I didn’t fall on my knees but I did open my heart to take an honest look. Was I communing with God? Did I spend time in meditation and prayer? Was the Bible a part of my life? Had my behavior been transformed from what I used to be? Had faith been strengthened? Did I love others? So many questions. But only one is paramount: Is what I do in thought and act pleasing to God?

Tell me, my friend, how is it with the garden of your soul?