Relics of Eden’s bowers

th-1Marti is fighting an ongoing battle with the Laguna Beach County Water district. They want us to use less water and Marti wants a garden of flowers.

Not too long ago the city sponsored a program to upgrade everyone’s sprinkler systems for free. It was hard not to take advantage of that, but the end result was a system that uses less water, and a month later after this free upgrade most if not all of our flowering plants were dead. Score one for the city.

So Marti has taken to watering by hand and by a moveable sprinkler attached to the hose. I recently bought her a new one. It’s metal so it won’t break down like the plastic one, and it is painted a shiny candy apple red, and red is her favorite color. The satisfaction Marti gets out of toting that sprinkler around the yard and setting it wherever she can (including places it was never intended to be like atop fences or bushes) is worth the price of water. Of course should there be a serious water shortage, she would have to suck it up, but until then, score one for Marti.

I am of the school where less is more. Marti is of the school where more is better. Why does God always do this with marriages? So we all have to learn to give and meet somewhere?

We had a friend in Ohio we met through the Catch who lost a battle with cancer a few years ago, but Marti carries on her memory through the roses in our garden. Kay loved her roses and she and Marti would carry on a long distance relationship over the success and failure of their rose bushes, so Marti always thinks of Kay when she is out there wondering if she is watching her.

It’s such a pleasure watching Marti do this because she is not by nature an outdoorsy person. I used to take more of an issue with this with my less is more perspective, siding more with the city, and making life difficult for Marti with my passive aggressive nature, but lately I’ve backed off preferring to enjoy the unique variety of garden Marti. Score one for Kay.

I swear if Marti wasn’t a businesswoman she would own a corner flower shop. She has a knack for putting a bouquet together like no other. I can bring home cheap grocery store flowers and she turns them into masterpieces.

Life is all about dealing with conflict, and Marti prefers consensus to compromise. Compromise is about everyone giving up something. Consensus is about everyone getting something. It’s all in how you approach it.

English churchman and poet, John Keble, wrote that flowers were ”relics of Eden’s bowers.” In their beauty, they are only leftover glory from what they once were in God’s first garden. I think God rejoices in flowers no matter how much water they take in this fallen world. Score one for God.

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7 Responses to Relics of Eden’s bowers

  1. So, what happened with the city? You started this blog off with a story about Marti’s conflict with them. Was it resolved? Moral of that story is, never accept anything that is “free” from a government.

    Flowers are indeed one of God’s blessings that we can share with each other. My mom has rose bushes, which I love, and which I have ended up taking care of.

    I agree that life is about conflict. Not sure about the consensus vs compromise. It seems that the situation would dictate which approach is best, rather than the personality of the person. I tend not to mind conflict, and cause a lot of it, but I like it resolved quickly. I don’t like relationships to be in limbo, waiting for a resolution. I have one like that right now, and it is driving me crazy.

    Regardless of whether we go for consensus or compromise, God is a God of peace, and that should always be our ultimate goal. But we shouldn’t mind going through some conflict to get there. Some of my best and most treasured friendships have been through the fires of conflict, and I think it has made them better.

    • jwfisch says:

      Yes, conflict is a necessary part of life (i.e. Paul and John Mark and Barnabas and even Peter and Paul had their moments).

  2. I may have to use that consensus statement. I like that!!! It still takes conflict to get to consensus, but instead of the goal of “giving up” the goal is for the overall good.

    “Compromise and Tolerance” go hand in hand for me… with both terms you are not necessarily doing something because it’s going to be better or good, you’re doing something because you feel like you “have to”.

  3. KaT H. says:

    Good ol’ city of Laguna! LOL! The one thing I don’t miss about the OC is the “politics.” Best wishes to you!

  4. Carole says:

    Here, in Canada, we have individuals watering grass……..what a waste of water! The Town put new water meters on everyone’s home and now, each taxpayer pays for the water they use. It sure cut down on those watering their grass! Pay for what you use and no one can complain or use what you pay for. Water is becoming a scarce commodity for many and regardless of how much we love our gardens, it is always best to keep in mind that some day that resource may not be there.

  5. funinsuninpb says:

    One thing I think about when I read your messages and comments that follow is that people struggle with black and white, all or nothing, oversimplification of issues that are complex. I call it balancing opposite truths. Some truths in the Word when viewed in themselves seem almost impossible to balance against other opposite truths that also stand impossibly on their own.

    I hear believers struggle with balancing grace with speaking the truth in love. I had some struggles for which I was seeking answers and I was able to attend a study from Focus on the Family called the Truth Project. It was very helpful in talking about God’s perspective and spheres of authority as ordained by God.

    The government has wrongly taken over many spheres that are outside of their domain, and once again it is overstepping the church’s speaking the truth. Jesus said the purpose that He came to this earth was to bear witness to the truth…THE TRUTH. We have an inherent right to speak the truth and it goes beyond our constitution, and the government is trying to silence ministers by taking away their organizations tax exempt status. It is a fine line we walk today. I often think of Daniel and what wisdom he had to boldy stand for the truth, yet to be highly regarded for his wisdom by a pagan dictator.

    I know one issue that has been often oversimplified as far as the complexity is in the area of same gender attraction. I found another good blogger and I hope you don’t mind if I share, but she has written and responded to comments in a wonderful way. Blessings to John and Marti as God guides you in your ministry.

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