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Lessons I Learned In The Garden

Lessons from Joan

How my gardener has been pruning my heart

Joan was a lady who once took care of my yard. She’s got the greenest thumbs around and the reddest heart that beats. She’s amazing. She humbles me and challenges me to be a better person everyday.

Joan is not a material girl. She wants for nothing and is grateful for everything.

A few years ago I found out that Joan had become homeless and was living in her car. I was in tears daily over this. She’s a woman that is so kind and wonderful and talented and deserves more.

But - here is what Joan said to me when she came by just to say hi to my plants and me,

“Denise I hope those are happy tears because I’m happy. I have everything I want and need. I don’t have an expensive mortgage like you, I don’t have as much laundry as you, don’t have to be burdened with dishes or too much stuff to clean. I can drive where I want and wake up to a new sunrise every day. I don’t have an electric bill, no cable bill, and no worries. Don’t cry for me. I’m blessed. God provides abundantly more than I need, He’s my shepherd and protector and I’m happy.”

I don’t keep cash but I happened to have a measly $6 in my pocket and in the midst of me crying - I told her to please take it. She at first said no and then said if it would make me happy - she would take it. We hugged and said goodbye.

Later that evening Joan called me. She told me that my $6 blessed her because she got to eat at Hungry Howies and watch two episodes of Family Feud while they cooked her pizza. She said the pizza would be dinner and even have leftover for the next day. She literally thanked me for buying her dinner and lunch and for blessing her.

Once again I found myself feeling selfish and crying for wanting more for her. She has such a calming presence and said to me,

“I told you yesterday - don’t cry for me, be happy for me because I’m happy”. She said, “you always help me and I know you love me.”

I do love Joan. She made everything in my yard come back to life. She hears God. She is at peace. I didn't help Joan - it is she who helped me.

I moved since - so did Joan. I haven't seen her and there's no way to reach her since she turned off her phone and likely still doesn't have a permanent place to live. I think about her often. Always with a smile and fondness in my heart. And gratitude.

Thank you Lord that two are better than one. Thank you for Joan. Please protect her and keep her safe. Thank you for bringing her to me as she continues to help prune my heart and hear You more. Thank you for continued illumination through Your Word and through my friend. Amen

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