He Met Me in the Garden

This week's devotion comes from Frieda Koernig.  Frieda is a faithful disciple of Christ who does a lot of behind the scenes work to keep Christ's church looking beautiful, especially on the outside.  Have you ever driven by the church and thought "wow, those flowers look gorgeous"?  That was Frieda!  Her ministry is much more than just planting flowers.  From this devotion, we will get a glimpse into the thought process and theology that she lovingly puts into every decision and every action.  Thank you, Frieda!  Enjoy!

- Reverend Dave


In the summer of 2019, I started assisting Jim Caterson with the upkeep of the Church’s front walkway gardens.  Geraniums had been planted there for decades and they need frequent dead heading.  Jim had been doing this by himself for many years. He seemed grateful for my help, so I asked him if he would like me to take over for him.  I was honored that he passed this labor of love on to me.

Spring of 2020 rolls around and it was time to weed and plant.  Since geraniums are so labor intensive, requiring almost daily attention, I decided to instead plant red and white vinca.  I don’t live in Absecon, so it made sense to plant something that did not need so much care once they are established.  I chose red to signify the blood of Christ and white to signify His purity.  What a blessing to be able to work in the church gardens (with Linda Miller and my friend Josette) during the days of Covid lockdown!  Except for the birds that decided to pull up the little flowers (which we overcame by putting in pinwheels), the garden thrived and a beautiful red and white path of flowers escorted visitors to the front door of the sanctuary.
Forward to spring 2021, time to plant again.  The flats of flowers were purchased.  The weeding was done.  Josette and I planted the little red and white seedlings.  We proudly took a video of them, all 280+ little beauties, each lovingly spaced perfectly and gently placed into the soil.  A few days later when I went to water them, I found that many of their leaves had turned to yellow.  My google search confirmed my worst fear.  They were not thriving, there was no solution and they were doomed to die.  I was so upset and didn’t know what to do.  So I stood in the middle of the brick walkway, raised my face and hands to the sky and prayed “God, I did this to honor You.  Can you please help me out here?”  Almost in tears and with a pit in my stomach, I went home to contemplate my next step.  Should I just pull them all out and start again?

My next visit to check on them brought an amazing surprise.  There were hundreds of tiny little baby plants sprouting up in the garden.  I was so excited!  I started pulling up the dying plants to make room for those tiny miracles to grow.  As days went by, they grew bigger and buds began to form.  I was thrilled when they began to bloom.  Then I noticed something quite interesting.  They were pink!  I had not planted pink, only red and white.  God had answered my prayer!  But He made sure to tell me “Yes, I can help you out here, but I planted pink ones so you know it was My hand that did it!”

Some people might try to explain it away by saying red spores mixed with white spores, or some such scientific explanation, but I believe God was with me in that garden.  He heard my prayer and He let me know He does perform miracles, both big and small.

Now spring 2022 is at hand.  I wonder what He has planned for me this year.

- Frieda Koernig

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