Messages from around the Benefice

Saturday with Lyndon When I walk with my Lord in the garden. I had in my mind to write about Trevor Williams, then yesterday, I had received a notification from Stephen, a former teacher, and I realised Trevor would be the topic of today’s reflection. Trevor, was more than thirty years older than me. I met him when I was in my forties and he had long retired from teaching. Trevor, I was told, was a teacher in a, Secondary Modern School in the Valley’s. This was at the time of the 11 plus exam, which decided on a child’s educational path. Pass and you would be streamed into a grammar school, fail and you were in a secondary modern. Trevor loved teaching, but he knew that many of the boys either couldn’t cope with academic work, or simply didn’t want to. They all knew that most of them would end up down the pit. Many of the lads did work hard and would find apprenticeships in the mines as electricians, mechanics etc. Trevor, put forward a plan for those with less ambition. He would start a gardening club. For many years this proved a great success, with boys, who were often bored in the classroom. These boys could and would develop new skills.

I met Trevor when Cynth and I joined St. David’s Church Fleur de Lis. Trevor and his wife Dylis, were church big shots they were members of the church council, the PCC. Trevor and Dylis, befriended us and we were invited to their home on many occasions. They had a lovely spacious garden which included a wooded area. Trevor grew vegetables and flowers and they kept countless chickens. Trevor was an incredible gardener, and he often told me that Sunday church was for worship, fellowship, and learning, but for prayer only his garden would do. He told me before God created the church he made a garden, where He could be alone with His creation Adam and Eve “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden” Genesis 3:8.

“When I’m in my garden I feel God so close to me” Trevor told me “and like Adam I can talk to Him, and enjoy His company” Trevor loved poetry, and he once had his poetry published in a book. My favourite poem was entitled “When I walk with my Lord in the garden”. When I sat with him in his garden we were often interrupted by men who brought their plants and vegetables for Trevor’s inspection, Trevor would be thrilled, they were all past pupils from his school gardening club. These ex pupils never forgot the teacher who thought out of the box and showed them new skills. They loved Trevor. When I was walking in my garden, because of my house arrest, I thought of my old friend Trevor, I looked at our, starting to flower, plants and I thought of him. At the moment I can’t go to church, can’t go to the cinema, can’t go to my caravan, but I can walk with my Lord in the garden. I have just realised that more and more of my ideas for my reflection are coming to me in the garden.
Perhaps, God wants us to find Him in different places and in different ways. I pray for all those families who are locked in, people with young children, who have no garden, whose parks are closed. We keep on praying for and thanking God for the bravery of our front line workers. We pray that this plague may be quickly over. Let’s pray that through these dark days God will bless us with a more Godly future.

“It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.” Luke 13:19
Keep praying, keep believing, keep the faith and keep safe

Dorothy Harries. Thank you Lyndon for your little nuggets of truth. Hope you are putting them into book form. Remember singing as a child in school Assembly. All things bright and beautiful. May we all come away from this difficult time, appreciating the finer things in life. People above riches, and value God’s creation, and rejoice in God the creator of all things.

Stephen Berry “For the fruits of all creation, thanks be to God” – a wonderful hymn that says it all in these opening two lines. Much as I enjoy our garden, it is my wife who does the real work as God gave her the green fingers and me the musical fingers! However, another hymn sums up my outlook on the world – “O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder consider ALL the works your hands have made”. I marvel every time I see a beautiful view – no matter how many times I have seen it before – and, having been to some of the most wonderful places in the world, still have that awesome wonder when, for instance, I drive from Wentwood down towards Usk on a good day and see the glorious view towards the Welsh mountains. Of course, for me major sources of awe and wonder are the superb pieces of music that God has enabled the musically talented to produce for our wonder and enjoyment – and I daily thank Him that he has given me the wherewithal to bring these to life for others to enjoy. We find God wherever we choose to look for Him if only we keep our eyes and ears and hearts open to His wonders. Sorry for intruding on your excellent post, Lyndon, but it really did concentrate my thoughts and made me focus on things that I do think about regularly but not in such a concentrated way!