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The Garden
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As I turned the key in the lock and opened the door of the truck, my mind was unable to process the message dispatched by my eyes. Broken glass was strewn everywhere; the dashboard was cracked and gouged, and a large, jagged boulder lay on the front seat – silent conspirator to a hasty crime.

Slowly I began to comprehend what had happened. My eyes darted to the floorboard where I had stashed my purse. Gone!! Even my extra clothes, shoes and food which I had left in a bag on the seat, were now missing. Numbly, I realized how an awesome day in nature had been brutally shattered, along with my passenger side window.

Minutes before, I had returned from a six-hour hike in Southern California’s Zuma Canyon to the dusty parking lot where I left my vehicle. I now remembered driving to the spot from PCH (the Pacific Coast Highway) that morning. How I had admired the lovely Malibu neighborhood replete with beautiful trees and blossoming flowers. I felt as if I had entered a delightful garden.
After locking my truck, I hit the trail, excitedly anticipating what I would discover on this trek I had never before taken. And, I was not disappointed. Zuma Canyon offered the most challenging hike I have been on since high school. Four hours of boulder hopping, rock climbing and stream wading through this primitive canyon, yielded secret treasures all its own, such as tiny blue butterflies, delicate ferns and baby rattlers sunning themselves on warm boulders. Breathtaking views of the Pacific from the Ridge Trail on the return trip, capped off the day, like a cherry tops off a sundae.  And now this...

Stark Reality

As the sun dipped below the horizon, the delightful garden lost both its innocence and its charm. I shivered as I sped inland back to my home. The ocean breeze mingled with exhaust fumes blasted through the windowless door of my vehicle.

Like most women, I carry my life around on my shoulder, a.k.a. my purse. A quick mental inventory revealed I had lost $45.00 in cash, my checkbook, calendar, driver’s license and five credit cards. Then, there were my keys, reading glasses, sunglasses, wallet and make-up bag. And, the list goes on…

Each item was special in its own way, not to mention the leather purse that held it all. I felt violated. A significant part of my life had suddenly been snatched out of my grasp, then hastily tossed into a dirty trashcan somewhere.

Then in struck me, in heaven, I won’t carry a purse! I won’t carry a purse because I will no longer have need of its contents. I’ll have no need for cash, credit cards or checks; everything will be free! No longer will I fumble in my handbag for reading glasses a dozen times a day; my vision will be perfect! Lipstick, eye make up, breath mints; who needs them? Here, yes! But, in heaven and the earth made new, everyone will look and smell beautiful eternally! 

And, why would I need a metallic hunk of keys in a place where there are no locks? For, no one will be a threat to anyone else in God’s eternity because only those who love God and their fellow man will be there. “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain,” Isaiah tells us (Isaiah 11:9).

Yes, snakes and thorns will not always inhabit the garden. Heaven and the new earth will be a truly awesome places. Don’t you want to be there, too?

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By Kathy A. Lewis. Copyright © 2006 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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