The Vicarage Garden is looking in pretty good form at the moment. The grass is well shaven, the paths are clean and the edgings have been attended to. Hanging baskets have been placed at the front of the Vicarage itself and also on the stables at the side. The vegetable patches are flourishing and various pots of flowers have come into bloom. It all looks pretty neat. There is one area though that is not so meticulously kept and it is the one just outside my study window. This is not the result of laziness or not making the most of 30 minutes to get all the jobs in the garden sorted in between other responsibilities!

It is deliberately left as it is to allow nature to have its way and to nurture our own little “wild area”. Amongst the foliage there is a bird tray and a couple of other feeders. Early in the morning quite a variety of birds fly in for their breakfast as well as a couple of very portly pigeons who seem to defy all physics in being able to get off the ground!

Our little green area acts as a salutary reminder to us that we are not ultimately in control. I am reminded of Jesus teaching from Luke 12 vs 22 onwards in which he refers to the birds of the air who neither sow nor reap and the flowers of the field that neither toil nor spin yet their heavenly father feeds them.

Jesus reminds us that we are all under God and in His hands. Lady Julian of Norwich used the image of a hazelnut to describe the same thing. The scene from my study window does the same. As we move through life we ought to be encouraged and strengthened by these words. Whatever great task we might be asked to undertake or whatever trial we may have to face we are assured that God is always with us. Life, like our eco area, is often rather messy and yet it’s in the messiness of life that God often meets us, the twists and turns, the light and the shadow being vehicles of His grace in our lives with the assurance of His peace when we come to him in prayerful faith.